Golden Knights: Is a Trade Coming That Nobody Expects?

Photo: NHL.com

Vegas Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon has a flair for the dramatic. No one ever knows what he is going to do. In Vegas, we have come to expect the unexpected when it comes to player and coaching changes.

Mark Stone was acquired at the eleventh hour during the 2019 trade deadline. No one saw the blockbuster deal for Tomas Hertl coming at the 2024 trade deadline. Golden Knights fans were shocked to see day one misfit, Reilly Smith, get traded just 11 days after the team’s Stanley Cup parade down Las Vegas Boulevard.

Golden Knights fans are still not over Marc Andre-Fleury being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2021. Did the Golden Knights receive their future considerations from the Carolina Hurricanes in the Max Pacioretty trade from 2022?

You get the point.

The clock is ticking on Jonathan Marchessault’s contract with the Vegas Golden Knights. The 33-year-old is set to hit free agency in six weeks unless an extension can be worked out between him and the team. There is mutual interest for Marchessault to remain in Vegas.

“I’ve done everything I can to stay here. I know I’m a big part of this organization and team and proven it along the years.” Marchessault during last week’s exit interviews. “I’m pretty confident. I would love to say, it’s my home.”

What does McCrimmon have to say?

“I had a real good meeting with Marchy this morning. We talked with his representatives. Marchy is an original, he’s a core player, and he had a career year.” McCrimmon said during last week’s exit interviews. “So he’s done everything humanly possibly to put himself in a good position.”

McCrimmon and Marchessault agree that everything has been done to keep Marchessault in Vegas. So what is stopping the two sides from reaching an agreement?

At the end of the day, everything comes down to money. But which side does the money matter more to? The Golden Knights or Marchessault? Marchessault has earned the right to negotiate for the largest contract of his career. The Golden Knights signed Marchessault to a six year, $30 million extension before the 2018-19 season.

Simply put, Marchessault is about to get the biggest bag of his career. What can McCrimmon do to offer Marchessault his richest contract of his career?

This is where things get complicated. McCrimmon has in the neighborhood of $7 million dollars of salary cap space to work with for the 2024-25 season. Marchessault, Anthony Mantha, Chandler Stephenson, William Carrier, Michael Amadio, and Alec Martinez are unrestricted free agents. Pavel Dorofeyev and Jiri Patera and restricted free agents.

There is not enough money to go around to extend Marchessault and others with expiring contracts.

All eyes are on Shea Theodore. Theodore has two seasons remaining with a salary cap hit of $5.2 million. A trade involving Theodore can give McCrimmon enough salary cap space to extend Marchessault and a few others with expiring contracts.

Folks, please remember, this is Vegas. We rarely see the expected happen. The tandem of McCrimmon and George McPhee might be the most unpredictable front office in the NHL.

We are not going to see something completely bonkers happen like Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, or Alex Pietrangelo get traded. It is unlikely day one misfit William Karlsson ever gets traded during his contract with the Golden Knights. However, everyone else is in play.

Brayden McNabb was the team’s third highest scorer in the first round of the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs with five points. The 33-year-old has one year remaining of his contract that carries a team-friendly salary cap hit of $2.85 million. Defensemen Zach Whitecloud has four seasons remaining of a contract that carries a salary cap hit of $2.75 million.

It is unlikely, not impossible, that Ivan Barbashev or Nicolas Roy are moved in favor of extending Marchessault.

What is the Trade That Nobody Would See Coming?

Good question. Logan Thompson is entering the final year of a contract that carries a $766,667 salary cap hit. It is fair to assume that Thompson’s next contract will carry a salary cap hit of greater than $3 million. If McCrimmon does not see the 27-year-old as the goalie of the future for the Golden Knights, Thompson could be moved along with McNabb or Theodore to make space to extend Marchessault.

Remember, Thompson never made consecutive starts during the last regular season when Adin Hill was healthy. It took Hill struggling down the stretch for Thompson to be the game one playoff starter. Coach Bruce Cassidy gave Hill every opportunity to find his game down the stretch. Cassidy was given no choice but to start Thompson in game one of the playoffs.

It is also noteworthy that Hill started the final three games of the first round despite Thompson having a .921 SV% in the series.

Is it likely that Thompson gets traded? Probably not. But trading Thompson in a deal with Theodore or McNabb would qualify as a trade that nobody saw coming.

The situation with extending Marchessault is simple, yet complicated. The Golden Knights want Marchessault to sign an extension. Marchessault wants to remain in Vegas.

We are about to find out if McCrimmon really wants to extend Marchessault and if Marchessault really wants to remain in Vegas.

Just how far is McCrimmon willing to go to keep the most loveable misfit of them all in Vegas?

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

One thought on “Golden Knights: Is a Trade Coming That Nobody Expects?”

  1. Your subject choice is dead-on timely.
    Golden Knights need cap space, right? Well, let’s be bold:
    Petrangelo is a turnover machine and a little long in the tooth. Stone is the slowest skater and most injury prone player on the team. Martinez is arguably the greatest shot blocker in Golden Knights history however he’s 36 years old and he has a disproportionate salary number for a player his age. The replacements for these three players are already in the Golden Knights’ organization. You want cap space to extend Marchessault? Moving three fellows gives you almost $20 million.

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