Is Marc-Andre Fleury To The Blackhawks Out Of The Question?
By Jimmy Lynch
Marc-Andre Fleury is towards the end of his run with the Vegas Golden Knights, and maybe he is ready for a change of scenery. Perhaps the Blackhawks would be interested in bringing him in.
Every day the contract negotiations between Corey Crawford and Stan Bowman go on showcases the possibility that the two parties might not come to an agreement. That would mean the team will have to look elsewhere when it comes to who is in net for the Blackhawks next season. One team that has two goalies and does not want to keep both was the Blackhawks’ last opponent, the Vegas Golden Knights.
Marc-Andre Fleury was not very happy to see Robin Lehner take his net throughout their playoff run, and I am sure he wants an opportunity to prove he can still play in the NHL at a high level and play as a starter. Fleury is not going to get that opportunity if Robin Lehner re-signs with Vegas, so his best bet would be to request a trade.
Chicago should take a risk on Fleury if Vegas is desperate to release him from their team. Yes, he is an expensive player that could just be bought out by Vegas, but I am sure that they would rather have some type of return instead of just letting go of the former Stanley Cup Champion netminder.
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While Fleury might have struggled in net this past season, do not forget that the 35-year-old has led the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Finals, and he has won three Stanley Cup Championships.
Fleury might be entering the tail end of his career, but he can still play at a high level for the next few seasons. It would be interesting to see what Vegas would ask for in a trade for Fleury, and that might be the difference-maker on if this an actual possibility.
Fleury is signed through the end of the 2021-22 season and has a cap hit of seven million. For Vegas to buy Fleury out they would have two or three million in cap space gone just because of that one move. Maybe they would rather see Fleury traded away, and would still be willing in taking on some of the salary.
Chicago traded Robin Lehner to Vegas for Malcolm Subban and a second-round pick. We also were willing to cough up some salary on the deal to help get Vegas under the cap heading into the second half of the season. While I know that these two deals are not great comparisons when you consider that Lehner was on an expiring contract and Fleury still has a few more years on his, but it is important to see the comparison.
The Blackhawks could add a goalie that can start in their net for the next few seasons, and it would maybe only cost them a few draft picks. Stan Bowman could give up his second and third-round picks for Marc-Andre Fleury, and if he only has him with a cap hit of 4.5 or 5 million a year, that is even better for this team.
Any type of deal the Blackhawks make is going to be them taking a chance. Fleury had a down year in 2020, was that year an indication for what is to come in his future, or was it just a hiccup along the road? Would you be willing to bet on Marc-Andre Fleury?