Hot Shots are our version of Hot Taeks. These are short, quick takes on topics important to the Lightning, the organization, or the NHL in general. Today’s topic is Jonathan Marchessault.
Marchessault was acquired during the 2013-14 season at the trade deadline from the Columbus Blue Jackets organization. At the time, the Crunch were way out of the playoffs and Columbus’ AHL affiliate was in the thick of things and looking for some veteran players. Veterans Dana Tyrell and Matt Taormina went to Columbus, while Marchessault came to Tampa with tough guy Dalton Smith.
Marchessault ended up being quite an asset to the Syracuse Crunch becoming one of the leading point producers for a team often lacking in talent. He had gotten a cup of coffee call up with Columbus and got several with the Lightning. This past season saw his first extended action in the NHL. Unfortunately for him, he never really found a solid spot. He played a lot of limited, fourth line minutes while serving sometimes as a power play specialist. He also filled in on the top two lines while multiple players were missing for injury.
While there are a lot of people sad to see him go, and it seemed that there was a certain love affair with him on social media, I don’t see it as a particularly big negative for the team. He didn’t have a clear spot or role, his defense wasn’t always solid, and he didn’t produce enough to push his way into a larger role. With his ultimate upside being as a third liner, there just wasn’t room in Tampa for him. With the Panthers, he’ll now have a chance to establish his value on the third line, put up some points, and seek a bigger contract when he’s 27 and proven himself.