The NHL's trade deadline is about a week away now. There's nothing short of a daily flood of trade speculation around Marc-André Fleury, but there shouldn't be. A lot of people have discussed this at length, but Fleury doesn't necessarily want to be shipped all over the league. More importantly though, Fleury is probably one of the players Chicago probably doesn't need to worry about shipping out.
Once again, as I've reiterated, the Chicago Blackhawks are sellers, and it isn't a mystery that players will be leaving the team. The question right now is, who? Maybe it's Fleury, but in my opinion he's not really a priority to trade. It would be cool to see the veteran netminder get another shot at chasing a Stanley Cup with a team like Toronto, but it's hard to see how that deal would really work. There's just too much money involved. What's more, Fleury is a spouse and a parent, and it's unlikely at this point in his career that he wants to drag his family around from city to city to city.
Realistically, it's only worth trading Fleury if the return is at least a first round pick, otherwise, why bother? It's unlikely he wants to be stuck on a mediocre team, but in Chicago, they could probably offer him a more interesting contract than he'd likely be able to ask for elsewhere. Term? Sure, why not? Who else is in the goalie pipeline that is ready to be number one? Maybe Arvid Soderblom could step in someday, but more likely Drew Commesso, who is only 19-years-old, will be the next player to become Chicago's #1 netminder. Otherwise, the answer is no one, and since the team is rebuilding it's not like the head office is in a rush to find someone so they can start competing for the Stanley Cup. Simply put, he Blackhawks aren't in a hurry to get prospects into the NHL.
Having Fleury for a bit longer won't stop younger players from getting their chances, and he could always ask for a trade at a later point if he wanted one. Besides, there are other players the team should focus on trading. Guys like Jake McCabe, Calvin de Haan, Erik Gustafsson, and Dominik Kubalik should all be on the block. We might as well throw in Dylan Strome (unlikely), Connor Murphy (unlikely) and Kevin Lankinen (probable) in there as well. They won't really factor into Chicago's long-term plans. More importantly, none of them will fetch much of a return, but unlike with Fleury, there are other concerns. In the case of these more dispensable players, they're blocking the path of younger guys in the organization.
It would be ideal if Chicago could recoup a decent return for outgoing players, but there is a lot to say for letting younger players develop. The team can't keep everyone in Rockford forever, and it's not worthwhile to have a bunch of expensive veterans taking up roster spots. The rebuild has already begun if we're being honest, but there was false hope offered at the beginning of the season. Reality has set in, and it's past time to restructure the roster correctly. Whatever happens in the next week won't predict the Blackhawks' future, but it will, hopefully, begin the process to clear a path.