Golden Knights Trade Fleury to Blackhawks
TSN reports the Vegas Golden Knights have traded goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks for minor-league forward Mikael Hakkarainen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fleury has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $7 million. Darren Dreger reports no salary was retained in the deal.
Bob McKenzie reports the Blackhawks weren’t on Fleury’s 10-team no-trade list. He wondered if the 36-year-old goaltender would report to the Hawks or contemplate retirement. His agent, Allan Walsh, said his client will be taking some time to discuss this situation with his family and evaluate his future. CapFriendly indicates if Fleury retires the Blackhawks will not be charged with his cap hit.
Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, won the Vezina Trophy this season for the first time in his career. He’s third among the all-time wins leaders for goaltenders with 492.
This had to be a difficult decision for the Golden Knights. Fleury quickly became their franchise player during their inaugural season in 2017-18, backstopping them to the Stanley Cup Final. Team owner Bill Foley had wanted him to retire as a Golden Knight.
The Golden Knights, however, had limited salary-cap space and a need to address their depth at center. With Robin Lehner finishing the first season of a five-year contract worth an affordable $5 million annually, something had to give. With Fleury off their books, there’s already speculation they could be clearing cap room to pursue a trade for Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel.
It’ll be interesting to see what Fleury does. At this stage in his career, he could decide to pack it in rather than playing out the final season of his contract. The Blackhawks will then have to continue shopping for a goaltender.