Look what I found; Nashville Predators surprisingly land Jonathan Marchessault

It wasn't a surprise that the Predators were very active in free agency, but who really saw the Jonathan Marchessault connection?
Vegas Golden Knights v Dallas Stars - Game Seven
Vegas Golden Knights v Dallas Stars - Game Seven / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Like thieves in the night, the Nashville Predators stole the day on 2024 NHL Free Agency by not only nabbing Steven Stamkos, but also out of nowhere adding Jonathan Marchessault from the Vegas Golden Knights.

There was very little, if any, chatter about the Predators and Marchessault. Whereas there were rumblings about the Predators and Stamkos, and also with Brady Skjei who is another major addition for the defense.

It really appears that this was a late development that Trotz jumped on with a fast trigger. And there's also indictations that Marchessault saw the news going down with Stamkos and that helped push his interest up even more to go to Nashville.

The Barry Trotz Effect is making Smashville a desirable place for superstars

I think we see now in full effect why the Predators were in a power position by preserving the cap space they had coming out of the 2024 trade deadline.

Marchessault told TSN that the Golden Knights didn't give an offer good enough for him to stick around and he wanted to go somewhere where he can win. Similar to the Stamkos situation with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Predators swooped in.

The Trotz effect is paying dividends. It's hard to agrue against that after two offseasons with him running things. Think about 2023 and getting Ryan O'Reilly here.

The league's best players see what's being built in Nashville and it makes for a good selling point to get them here, much less the fanbase, the Bridgestone Arena atmosphere, no state income tax and Andrew Brunette being a rising head coach who was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award.

If you're keeping track, the Predators have added to recent Stanley Cup winning players with a combined 177 career playoff points. They will instantly bolster the Predators top-six into one of the better ones in the NHL.

Marchessault is getting a deal from the Predators for five years at a $5.5 million per year cap hit. Although somewhat overshadowed by the Stamkos deal, I actually might love this deal slightly more. That cap hit is nothing compared to where the market is going for a player in Marchessault who just set a career high in goals with 42.

Just for comparison, Filip Forsberg's career high in goals prior to this past season was 42 goals. He finished with 48 in 2023-24, and with Stamkos, the Predators have three 40-plus goal scorers from last season on their roster now.

Marchessault is an aggressive shooter. His 266 shots on goal would've been good for third on the Predators last season behind only Roman Josi (268) and Forsberg (347). The drop-off is pretty significant after that with Ryan O'Reilly's 180 shots on goal.

I wouldn't call Marchessault a "power play specialist", but he should be a lock to line up on the second power play unit at least for the Predators. I'm already early projecting the top power play unit to be Stamkos, Forsberg and Josi. The other two slots we can debate later on.

Be sure to check out our full free agency tracker for the Nashville Predators.

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