The Blackhawks may have tipped their hand on Twitter this morning, but we couldn’t get too far ahead of ourselves until the report was actually out there. And now it is.
Marc-Andre Fleury is going to play this season. The Blackhawks have their goalie.
Marc-Andre Fleury has informed the #Blackhawks that he intends to play this upcoming season.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) August 1, 2021
To bring you back up to speed, the Blackhawks and Golden Knights executed a trade a few days ago, sending 2021 Vezina Trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury to the Blackhawks in exchange for minor-leaguer Mikael Hakkarainen’s contract. That’s it. The deal came with $7M AAV cap hit for Chicago … and a whole of questions whether or not Fleury would actually play another season, which would require him to uproot his family. Retirement was very much on the table.
But now we know. He’s going to play at least one more.
As Mario pointed out this morning, with Fleury on the roster, various projection systems have the Blackhawks flirting with playoff contention next season. This was a bit of a gamble by Stan Bowman, but it paid off. There’ll be some other roster fallout to dig into later, but for now, there’s the news. And it’s good news.