We are approaching the NHL Trade Deadline, which is now just over a month away (March 21), and one name that continues to pop up around the league is Blackhawks goaltender Marc-André Fleury.
A number of teams in the postseason hunt are looking to beef-up their goaltending and Fleury, playing on the final year of his current deal and on a team that is not headed to the postseason, is a hot commodity. One team that has been rumored to be in the mix for Fleury has been his long-time rival Washington Capitals.
According to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, the Capitals were all-in on Fleury, but it doesn’t appear the sentiment was mutual.
They want a starting, Stanley Cup-caliber goaltender – someone allows coach Peter Laviolette to sleep soundly at night – and they wanted him yesterday. They put on the full court press for Marc-Andre Fleury, but it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen.
Fleury has a long history with the Capitals, usually being on the other side of eliminating them from the postseason from his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Fleury also nearly led the Vegas Golden Knights to a Stanley Cup in their inaugural season, but ran into the Capitals in the final in 2018.
The 2021 Vezina Winner has a ten-team no-trade clause on his current deal, and with the convincing it took just to get him to play in Chicago this season, there’s a possibility that Fleury would rather ride-out the rest of the season in Chicago than move him and/or his family to another city to chase a Stanley Cup.
Seravalli also mentions the Penguins needing a backup goaltender to Tristan Jarry. While the idea of Fleury being traded to be a backup makes the potential package for him probably less fruitful for the Blackhawks, the idea of Fleury returning to Pittsburgh for another potential Stanley Cup run is enticing as a pure fan of hockey.
We’ll see where things go with Fleury and the Blackhawks as the NHL Trade Deadline approaches. With a permanent GM still not in place, it would be highly unlikely for interim GM Kyle Davidson to be given the go-ahead to pull the trigger on any trades while the interviewing process is still taking place. Chicago wants their permanent GM to be hired before March 21 and it’s in the best interest of the club that they are, since there are so many moveable players current on the Blackhawks roster that could/should be moved before the deadline passes.