Marchessault signed a two-year, $1.5 million contract with the Panthers on Friday, Darren Dreger of TSN reports. The 25-year-old just finished up his most active year in the league, making 45 appearances for the Lightning while accruing 18 total points over an average of 12:05 spent on the ice. With the Panthers, Marchessault will likely compete for similar playing time at left wing against Shawn Thornton.
Marchessault, a pending unrestricted free agent, would like to return to the Lightning, and the team is interested in bringing him back, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman has plenty of deals to work out among the team's forwards, including the prolific Steven Stamkos -- provided the Bolts can afford to retain him. Coming to terms with Marchessault, who was commonly parked on the bench as a healthy scratch last season, presumably is not a high priority at this juncture. The undrafted center has only appeared in 47 regular-season games with Tampa since he was acquired in a trade from Columbus in March of 2014, delivering 20 points in that span.
Marchessault will be a healthy scratch Saturday, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Marchessault saw regular action on the Lightning's second line of late, but head coach Jon Cooper decided to switch things up after Marchessault posted a combined minus-five rating over his last three games. Erik Condra seems like the top option to replace Marchessault in Saturday's lineup
Marchessault dished out a pair of helpers in Friday's win over the Islanders. The Lightning scored a season-high seven goals and Marchessault was able to contribute in 13:24 of ice time. While he's currently skating on the second line, the 25-year-old had gone eight straight games without a point prior to Friday and has been inconsistent. He can be valuable in some very deep leagues if he can stick in a top-six role, as he's got seven goals and 17 points in 40 games on the year.
Marchessault sat out for the seventh time in the past 11 games Sunday. He has performed well with 17 points in 27 games this season in fourth-line minutes, but needs to clear waivers to be demoted to the AHL. So there he sits. Marchessault just needs to bide his time -- the Bolts have been relatively solid of late and won't change things up while they're playing reasonably well. But he'll get his shot soon enough.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||24||4||6||10||-4||2||0||1||20||22||26.2|