After beginning his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, is there a chance Marc-Andre Fleury could finish his career with the franchise?
The Marc-Andre Fleury drama has taken a new twist.
One day after the Vegas Golden Knights traded the reigning Vezina winner to the Chicago Blackhawks in a salary dump, there is some uncertainty whether he’ll even report to the team. There is even some speculation Fleury could retire.
The Blackhawks are hoping to convince him to come to Chicago to play with Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and a revamped roster hoping to make some noise in the Western Conference next year.
Fleury is in the final year of a $7 million deal but he didn’t want to leave Vegas and after learning of the trade via Twitter, he’s contemplating his future.
Enter the Pittsburgh Penguins who drafted Fleury with the No. 1 pick and where he enjoyed so much success before he was left unprotected in the expansion draft.
Penguins still hoping they can get Marc-Andre Fleury to Pittsburgh
According to Rob Rossi of The Athletic, those within the organization are endorsing Fleury’s return to Pittsburgh. However, the Penguins aren’t optimistic the Blackhawks will just move on and trade him in any sort of timely manner.
Fleury holds some leverage. He could choose to not report to the Blackhawks and refuse to play for them. If he retires, Chicago wouldn’t be on the hook for the $7 million he’d count against the salary cap. They’d also have a gaping hole in net with last year’s Vezina winner not suiting up and with any free agent goalies already being signed by the time the season rolls around, the Hawks would be in a bad spot.
Would Fleury choose to not play in Chicago than get $7?
It’s a hard concept for fans to stomach, but if he doesn’t want to do it, he’s made plenty of money in his career. If Fleury digs his heels in the ice and refuses to play for Chicago at any cost, the Hawks may have no other choice than to trade him to the Penguins who have a dire need for a goalie.
The Hawks may not have much leverage in trade talks with the Penguins at that point, but considering they got Fleury for a fringe minor leaguer, they may still be able to get an asset to contribute to their present and future plans.
At the end of the day, the Hawks control Fleury’s future more than the other way around.