Fleury’s Final Home Game? Vlasic Signs Entry Level Contract, Calvin de Haan’s Trade Value, and Other Blackhawks Bullets
If Marc-André Fleury does end up being traded before the deadline, Tuesday night’s performance against the Boston Bruins will be his final as a Blackhawk in front of the United Center crowd. Fleury went out with a bang, if that’s the case, putting together an exceptional performance for the home crowd despite the results.
• As a team, the Blackhawks stunk in up for 60 minutes last night against the Boston Bruins, but Marc-André Fleury was fantastic from start to finish, stopping 46 of 48 Bruins shots in 60-plus minutes of action. While the Blackhawks struggled to get anything going on the offensive end, Boston was pelting Fleury with a barrage of shots and high danger chances for much of the game.
Marc-Andre Fleury Everybody, 34 saves throughout 2 periods- this being one of the very many unreal ones made tonight. pic.twitter.com/pSULKqKKab
— Blackhawks Nation (@HawksNationfb) March 16, 2022
• Through the first two periods, the Bruins led the Blackhawks 33-11 in shots on goal and 19-8 in five-on-five scoring chances, but Marc-André Fleury logged 35 saves through the middle frame as the Blackhawks and Bruins took a scoreless tie into the third period on Tuesday night.
• It wasn’t until the third period when the Bruins were finally able to find a chink in the armor of Fleury.
Bergy breaks the deadlock. © pic.twitter.com/74nHZ7Gem8
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 16, 2022
• Patrice Bergeron’s tip-in over Fleury in the third period gave the Bruins the first score of the game on the 40th shot on goal of the night for Boston. However, Brandon Hagel would tie the game up for the Blackhawks, and we would head to overtime after a questionable goaltender interference call erased a late Boston go-ahead goal.
Brandon Hagel with a beautiful redirection for his 21st goal of the season. #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/nsFpWkcLwK
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) March 16, 2022
• Boston got the well-deserved win in overtime on this Matt Grzelcyk overtime score, an unfortunate ending to a masterful performance by Marc-André Fleury.
No calling back this one. pic.twitter.com/9NoOE5bQif
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 16, 2022
• After the game, Derek King had this to say about the future Hall of Fame netminder and the swirling speculation on his future in Chicago: “I’d love to have him as long as I’m around and keep him. When they get rid of me, they can get rid of him after that. Then he’s free to go. (laughs) But no, I’d be very surprised if he is around, because he can make a team that much better.”
“For me I’d love to have him as long as I’m around. When they get rid of me, they can get rid of him after that, then he’s free to go.”—Derek King jokes about the possibility of Fleury getting traded.
In all seriousness, though, “I’d be very surprised if he is around.” pic.twitter.com/sy55ZGjLT6
— Phillip Thompson (@_phil_thompson) March 16, 2022
• If Derek King is correct, and Marc-André Fleury has played his last home game at the United Center, it ends with a masterclass performance that will serve as a microcosm of his time here in Chicago, where he has played very well and given the Blackhawks a shot at winning a bunch of games. Still, the performances in front of him could never match his.
• With all the talk about Fleury potentially netting the Blackhawks a first-round pick as he heads to a contender seen as the final piece that can get them over the hump, it’s important to remember the type of pressure that is put on a player, particularly a goaltender, when they enter that type of scenario. Ryan Miller will forever be a cautionary tale of such. Miller was traded to St. Louis at the 2014 trade deadline to be that guy. But after St. Louis won the first two games at home in overtime and triple overtime, the Blues (who had finished second in the Central Division with 111 points, four more than defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago) lost four straight to the Blackhawks. The Blues scored just six times in those four games giving up 14 goals.
While the goalie market hums along, @OvertimeScottB caught up with Ryan Miller – the last netminder to be moved at the deadline for a first-round pick.
He pulled no punches: "You’re asking for a lot to come around in a month and a half or two months."https://t.co/6c1VDoykoS
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 16, 2022
• The Blackhawks will welcome their 2019 second-round pick to the team this week after Alex Vlasic signed his entry-level contract with the Blackhawks on Tuesday, just three days after his final season junior season with Boston University wrapped up. This season included Vlasic’s ELC comes with a cap hit of $824,000 for the next three seasons, meaning that he will bypass the AHL and report to the big club on Thursday.
#Blackhawks ink Alex Vlasic, a 2019 2nd-rd. pick (43rd ovr). He will join the team on Thursday.
The big (6’6”, 211 lbs), shutdown D-man just finished his junior season at Boston University, serving as alternate captain & named a Hockey East All-Star.https://t.co/lxtXctvnA5
— Carter Baum (@CarterBaum) March 15, 2022
• Here’s what Kyle Davidson had to say about the six-foot-six, 211-pound defenseman who will be making his NHL debut very soon: “It’s rare to find a player of Alex’s skill level and size, and we look forward to him contributing his developmental path with the big club,” Davidson said. “His steady development at BU was noticeable and encouraging as we chart his future with our team.”
• Vlasic’s playing time with the Blackhawks could come in the spot vacated by Calvin de Haan if he is traded over the next few days, a move that is largely expected to happen. Ben Pope of the Sun-Times opined that the return for Anaheim’s Josh Manson might be a solid starting point when trying to peg what Calvin de Haan’s return value might look like.
The Ducks’ return for Josh Manson sets an encouragingly high asking price precedent for the Blackhawks to apply to Calvin de Haan.
New story analyzing the state of the defenseman rental market: https://t.co/mkwCw7F2YN
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 16, 2022
• Colorado sent the Ducks prospect Drew Helleson and a 2023 second-round draft pick in the Manson trade, and the Blackhawks would likely be thrilled with a similar return for Calvin de Haan. Once de Haan is dealt, the Blackhawks will be able to give Alex Vlasic and other defenseman prospects in Rockford some extended looks down the stretch this season.
• Speaking of the Avalanche, this assessment of what it would be like playing Colorado in the opening round by Flames head coach Darryl Sutter was laughing out loud funny:
"It's going to be a waste of eight days."
Darryl Sutter on Wild Card teams facing the Colorado Avalanche in the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/FmH7fItBW5
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 15, 2022
• Frank Seravalli and the crew at TSN have updated their trade targets tracker, expanding the list to 50 candidates.
• The Bears have added a new offensive lineman to the mix for 2022:
Finally, Some Help for the Offensive Line: Bears to Sign Ex-Packers C/G Lucas Patrickhttps://t.co/FexuecWwuz pic.twitter.com/yjHX0r0lFD
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) March 16, 2022
• Hey, the Cubs got a new outfielder!
REPORTS: Seiya Suzuki Has Chosen the Chicago Cubs! – https://t.co/QR3GxDKklV pic.twitter.com/OcKdVLFDgf
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 16, 2022
• That’s it for today! Soak in some of that sunshine this afternoon.