NHL Rumors: Marc-Andre Fleury not thinking trade, Oilers looking at all options, and Mark Giordano wants a Cup
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The NHL Trade Deadline is now officially just two months away. From now until that day, the focus will be on players that will likely be traded as playoff contenders and pretenders sort themselves out.
You can check out our latest Trade Bait Tracker here.
Of course, one of the biggest potential names that could hit the market is reigning Vezina winner Marc-Andre Fleury.
NHL Rumors: Fleury not thinking about trade deadline
There’s a reason why goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is beloved by every teammate he’s ever taken the ice with. Despite the unlikelihood of the Chicago Blackhawks making the playoffs, the 37 year-old netminder is still focused on getting his team there.
“It’s not my thought yet,” he said on Thursday. “All I want is to have this team make the playoffs. Honestly, that’s what’s in my head right now. To me, it’s not worth looking too far ahead. I just want to put this team in a good position to make the playoffs, and that’s my goal.”
Fleury is a pending UFA this summer, and will be a valuable trade chip for Chicago to bring in younger assets for the future. With the Hawks currently 8 points out of the final wild card spot in the West, waiving his no-trade clause is bound to come up.
“There will be a conversation between the veteran goaltender and his agent, Alan Walsh, and that will extend to the Blackhawks management. There’s also an agreement with the Blackhawks that Fleury isn’t going anywhere unless he wants to,” Darren Dreger said on Insider Trading.
“We’re in the better part of two months away from the March 21 trade deadline. If in six weeks from now Fleury decides he wants to chase the Cup… Well, that’s a different story and there will be interest.”
Oilers looking for a goalie
One team that Fleury is unlikely to be going to is the Edmonton Oilers due to his $7M cap hit. Even if Chicago would eat half of that, it would take another team to drive it down further.
There’s also the possibility of unloading Mikko Koskinen’s $4.5 million in order to make some additional room. He’s a UFA at season’s end and if Edmonton is willing to add a high draft pick a team with cap space will take him.
“They are looking at all options across the NHL,” Pierre LeBrun revealed. “I just don’t think there’s a knight in shining armor out there.”
“We’re told that they’ve kicked tires on Joonas Korpisalo in Columbus, who is a pending UFA,” LeBrun continued. “They’ve also discussed Anton Khudobin. I think the Oilers lose interest there because he has one year left at $3.3 million.”
Braden Holtby could be the Oilers main target per LeBrun, but considering the Stars placed Khudobin on waivers it’s unlikely they want to move him.
Mark Giordano wants a Cup
The Seattle Kraken are sitting dead last in the Pacific Division at 12-23-4 (28 pts). GM Ron Francis was asked by Pierre LeBrun in October if he would consider trading Mark Giordano this season.
“I think that’s a decision we make a little bit down the road here,” Francis said. “Mark is a terrific pro, been in the game a while, and a great leader for us and the organization, representing us not only on the ice but in the community as well. We’ll see where things go moving forward with the franchise overall.’’
When the deadline rolls around, expect the 38 year-old pending UFA defenseman to be on the move.
Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek said this about Giordano: “Still wants a shot at a Stanley Cup and is on an expiring deal.”
Giordano has 14 points in 33 games for the lowly Kraken. He is exactly what contending teams will be looking for at the deadline.
This is one rental I believe the New York Rangers have been after since the summer.