When the Chicago Blackhawks acquired Marc-Andre Fleury earlier this week, we were told that he could prefer to retire than uproot his family and play for another team. Since then, it has been relatively quiet from Fleury’s camp on what direction the 2021 Vezina winner would go.
Now it appears Fleury has softened his stance against playing for Chicago. According to Scott Powers of The Athletic, Fleury has been in contact with people who would “be in the know” regarding Blackhawks ownership, management, and coaches. Potentially a sign that he is actually considering the move to Chicago to play the final year of his current contract with the Blackhawks. One caveat, according to Powers’ report, is that Fleury would want assurance from Blackhawks management that they would not trade him during the 2021-22 season.
Fleury, 36, is coming off one of his career-best years in 2020-21, winning the Vezina for the first time in his 17-year career. Chicago acquired Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for minor-leaguer Mikael Hakkarainen, and the final year of Fleury’s contract comes with a $7M AAV cap hit. If he were to play for the Blackhawks, he would be the starter over Kevin Lankinen and would make the Blackhawks a very interesting team in a loaded Central Division.