Marc-Andre Fleury wants to play another season, where will it be?
Marc-Andre Fleury has a smile and a positive energy that any team would love to have in their locker room. No matter where he goes, his teammates love him. His upbeat attitude is almost as legendary as his feats in net.
The Minnesota Wild acquired him at the NHL Trade Deadline on March 21 for a conditional second round pick. But even before he played in a game his new teammates were giddy.
“Fleury, he’s my favorite goalie all-time,” Kevin Fiala said. “I wanted to be a goaltender because of him when I was young watching the Pittsburgh Penguins all the time… So just looking at him, he’s in our locker room, it’s not realistic.”
Turns out that the 37 year-old, who once contemplated retiring this season when he was moved from Vegas to Chicago is not going to hang them up anytime soon.
Marc-Andre Fleury wants to play another season
On Tuesday, Fleury opened up about his future plans.
“I would like to play at least another season,” he revealed. “I decided that recently. I still enjoy playing. I still have fun, my body is still holding up, most of the time. But yes, another season and we’ll see after.”
Fleury was a star for the Pittsburgh Penguins where he won three Stanley Cup Championships during his 13 year tenure. He then moved on to the Vegas Golden Knights as their expansion draft selection in 2017, where he was the face of the franchise for four seasons. That particular run also included reaching the Stanley Cup Final in the team’s inaugural season falling to the Washington Capitals. Finally, he was traded unceremoniously to the Chicago Blackhawks this past offseason.
After Chicago fell out of the playoff picture early, Fleury was being asked if he would be open to a trade. The choice of destinations was something he was promised before accepting the deal to the Blackhawks. That place wound up being the Minnesota Wild.
Last season, Fleury won the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s top goaltender, for the first time in his career. His 517 career goalie wins rank third all-time behind Martin Brodeur (691) and Patrick Roy (551).
So far his record is 25-22-5 split between Chicago and Minnesota, with a .910 save percentage and a 2.90 goals-against average. Fleury has also won six of his first seven starts with the Wild.
Where will Fleury play next year?
The question everyone will be asking is just where we could see Fleury next season? It will have to be someplace meaningful with a chance to win since it’s likely his last in the NHL.
There appears to be several teams that he won’t report to, as he admitted after the deadline that he nixed the idea of joining the Washington Capitals. “It just didn’t seem right,” Fleury said in an interview on TNT.
Obviously the Capitals are a longtime rival of the Penguins, a team he played with for over a decade. Maybe he also won’t join the Colorado Avalanche if he feels they are rival of his old team the Golden Knights? Regardless, there really only seems to be three obvious choices where I think the pending UFA will sign.
Minnesota Wild: The first choice, and if the salary is right will be to stay put with the Wild. He has a great relationship with GM Bill Guerin and appears to be a perfect fit for this team.
Vegas Golden Knights: Everyone knows he did not want to leave and almost retired rather than report to Chicago. Maybe there’s too many hurt feelings, but Vegas is probably regretting they traded him and he loves the town.
Pittsburgh Penguins: One last hurrah to the place where it all started and where he won his Stanley Cup rings. Casey DeSmith is a UFA which means the Pens will be looking for a goalie to sign this summer.
In the end, it will come down to salary and cap space but it’s great to know that hockey fans will get one more season of ‘The Flower’.