Marc-Andre Fleury has been the subject of many trade rumors leading up to the NHL trade deadline.
Marc-Andre Fleury was traded from the Vegas Golden Knights to the Chicago Blackhawks prior to this season. Fleury was skeptical about joining a new team and considered retiring. Fleury ultimately decided on joining in late July.
Fleury has struggled with the team in the beginning of the season while getting used to the new defensive structure, and is currently 16-19-4 with a 2.83 GAA and .911 SV%.
According to Phil Thompson of the Chicago Tribune, Fleury has publicly acknowledged that he's heard about the trade rumors and stated whether he's open to returning to the team next season.
"Yeah, it's been good," Fleury said. "Obviously I wish we would be winning more, I wish we would be higher in that playoff race, definitely. But (I) love my teammates, great bunch of guys, great staff, locker room, the fans have been good, the people around town have been good to me." (Courtesy of Phil Thompson, Chicago Tribune).
Fleury has stated that he wants to win and is willing to either accept a trade or stay in Chicago for the remainder of the season and beyond.
Several trade rumors involving Fleury have been considered including potential trades to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins or the Edmonton Oilers. Fleury has stated that many of these teams are not enough of contenders for him or because of the Capitals, he is still very much a Pittsburgh Penguin. The Vegas Golden Knights were thought to be considering re-acquiring Fleury, but it was later shot down by Vegas general manager Kelly McCrimmon.
The Blackhawks are currently 19-27-8 and are currently 17 points back from a wild card spot. With the way the team is playing, it's obvious that the Blackhawks are not making the playoffs.
Fleury has many things to consider. Whether he wants to be traded before the deadline, stay for the remainder of the season, stay for another year or retire after this season. The Blackhawks front office has publicly stated to the fanbase that they are going through a rebuild.
It's going to be tough for Fleury to decide whether he wants to be traded to a contender or stay for the rebuild. Fleury would have to move his family again, which is tough for any professional athlete to constantly move because of trades and/or free agency and in which I completely respect his decision either way.
The NHL trade deadline ends at 3:00pm ET on Monday March 21st. It's all up to newly promoted general manager Kyle Davidson to pull the trigger and decide Fleury's fate for the rest of the season. Will he trade Fleury to a contender for a 1st or 2nd round pick or keep the goalie in Chicago?