I think Zach leaving has given people a complex about free agents bolting as soon as they can.
Guys who won't play for a team after being drafted usually don't have contact with the GM, nor do they show up for things like prospect camps. Keep in mind Merrill was supposed to be a first rounder. Every team in the league passed on him, but the Devils liked the way he interviewed and thought he would grow out of his issues and took the chance on him.
I believe he even said at the draft he had a feeling that they would take him when he was still on the board for their pick.
It's completely irrational. Just like all the people saying Trav was gonna sign in Winni and Clarky will surely go to Toronto next season, just like Elias is going to the KHL with Zubs next season, right everyone?
You cannot project rare events as probable just because they happened recently. If anything, it makes it even less likely to happen again, not more likely.....