Skip to main content


Marchessault balances disappointment with excitement of his new team in Nashville


Excited as Jonathan Marchessault is looking forward to join Steven Stamkos and the retooled Nashville Predators, the one-time original member of the Golden Knights' so-called “misfits” couldn’t help but feel let down by how his time ended in Las Vegas.

Once believing he would end his career with the Golden Knights, Marchessault will have to be satisfied with his seven seasons in Vegas, where he won a Stanley Cup and blossomed into one of the NHL’s most consistent scoring threats.

“I talked to George and Kelly, and I was telling them I liked the whole situation, how it’s going and how I see the organization,” Marchessault said Wednesday, referring to Golden Knights president George McPhee and general manager Kelly McCrimmon.

“And they just didn’t believe in me for the remainder of my career, I guess, So it was a little disappointment,” he said, before adding he doesn’t bear any grudges. “Hopefully, it pays off for them in the long run, because I know they want to win right now. So it’s going to be intriguing to see, and only the future’s going to tell us who was right.”

Rejecting what he described “an intriguing concept” of a contract offer from the Golden Knights, Marchessault turned his attention elsewhere in free agency on Monday by signing a five-year, $27.5 million contract with Nashville.

The 33-year-old will start anew in Music City, where the free-spending Predators went all in by committing more than $100 million to sign him, Stamkos, defenseman Brady Skjei and backup goalie Scott Wedgewood.

Marchessault said Nasvhille was among his top free-agent destinations, and his interest grew when informed the team was targeting both him and Stamkos, the longtime star of Tampa Bay.

“I called him and said, `Hey, are you signing in Nashville?′ He’s like, `Yeah,'” Marchessault said, referring to Stamkos, who he played with in Tampa from 2014-16. “I was like, `Oh, me, too.’ So after that it was perfect.”

The pair bring Stanley Cup championship experience — Stamkos won with Tampa Bay in 2020 and ’21, and Marchessault in 2023 with Vegas — and a veteran scoring presence to a team already featuring forwards Filip Forsberg, Ryan O’Reilly and Gustav Nyquist in front of standout defenseman Roman Josi.

Signed by Columbus in 2012 as an undrafted free agent, Marchessault was left exposed by Florida in the 2017 expansion draft despite a 30-goal season. In Vegas, he topped 20 goals six times, including a career-best 42 last year, and earned playoff MVP honors during the Golden Knights’ Cup run.

“I’m a guy that came from pretty far, to be honest. So anything that I do now, it’s gravy,” Marchessault said, before referring to his new Nashville teammates who have won titles. “Steven (Stamkos), Ryan (O’Reilly) and Luke (Schenn), they probably can tell you. When you taste winning a championship, it’s addictive. So I definitely want to do it again. And I think everybody has the same goal here.”