Okay But Seriously. What In The Heck Were The Florida Panthers Thinking With Jonathan Marchessault?
This isn’t a brand new take. This isn’t any sort of **BREAKING NEWS** that Jonathan Marchessault is an absolute beauty. People have been ripping the Florida Panthers for leaving this guy exposed at the Expansion Draft from the very moment their list of protected players came out last year. He was a 30-goal scorer for the Panthers last year. 30 G’s in the National Hockey League. As a rookie. Now granted he was an older rookie after spending 5 years in the AHL. But still. You don’t let a guy like that just end up walking for free.
I understand the Panthers had some tough decisions to make. They obviously had to protect guys like Barkov, Trocheck, Huberdeau and Ekblad. Marchessault was entering the final year of his contract making $750K. When you score 30 goals in the NHL, obviously you’re due for a massive pay bump. I guess the Panthers were banking that Marchessault already had his career year and they didn’t want to be the team to give him his first massive contract at the age of 27. So the Golden Knights pick him up in the Expansion Draft. They give him a 6-year, $5M AAV contract extension, he ends up scoring 27 goals and puts up 75 points on the season. And then last night he has 2 goals in the Western Conference Finals to even the series at 1-1.
And that 2nd goal of the night was the back breaker for the Jets. They had just scored about a minute earlier in the 3rd period to make it a 2-1 game. You figure they start to get the crowd back into that game, keep the momentum swinging their way and they can at least tie up the game and send that bitch to overtime. But 1 minute and 28 seconds after the Jets get their first goal of the game, Jonathan Marchessault scores again to shut up the crowd in Winnipeg. All while the Panthers have been on vacation since early April.
Like I said, I know that ripping the Panthers for letting Marchessault go isn’t anything new. I know that people aren’t just now finding out that Marchessault is a stud. But you just can’t let people forget what a horrible decision in terms of talent evaluation that was for the management group down in Sunrise. But luckily for Florida, it’s not just them. There are only 4 teams remaining in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That means there are 27 teams right now who are watching this Vegas team and thinking to themselves that they’ve made a huge mistake. It’s just I’m pretty sure Florida’s is probably the biggest mistake of them all. Especially considering it’s Gerard Gallant leading the way behind the bench. What a bunch of idiots. Fire yourselves.