The Team That Could Use Marc-Andre Fleury The Most Is......

Published January 22, 2022 at 2:23 PM

When the Chicago Blackhawks signed Vezina trophy winner to a 1 year contract, there was a lot of optimism in the air. The team had longed for a steady netminder to be the go-to in net for the Hawks. They have not had a solid netminder since Corey Crawford ( retired), who helped them win 2 cups in 2013 and 2015. They have had a number of goalies in the carousel trying to fill the gap, but with little success. Malcom Subban and Kevin Lankinen are NHL goaltenders, but a lot of people would argue, aren't solid number one goalies. They are solid backups.

This season hasn't gone great for the Chicago Blackhawks, who need to leap frog 5 teams just to get into the last spot. This is especially tough when the division is stacked with quality teams (Minnesota, St. Louis, Nashville, etc)

So, where does that leave Marc-Andre Fleury come the trade deadline? Does he finish out his 7 mil 1 year contract with the Hawks and then reassess on the beach earning 20%? Or, does he try to go to a contender to win another cup?

According to Darren Dreger, "There is an agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks that Marc Andre Fleury isn't going anywhere..... unless he wants to". This type of statement makes the even the casual hockey fan ponder the old 'what if' scenario. What teams, that are most likely going to use his talent to make a run, are willing and eager to roll the dice on Fleury?

Lets review and come to our own conclusion:

The Edmonton Oilers:
The team started the season with veteran Mike Smith and Miko Koskinen. Smith has had good playoff experience, taking the underdog Coyotes to the Semi-Finals one season, Koskinen not so much. Unfortunately Smith ended up getting injured early in the season, leaving the reigns to Koskinen. Things haven't gone well since, and criticisms from every corner such as the head coach and the press have added fuel the fire. The Oilers have had high hopes since Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have provided offense and hope. Adding Fleury can finally give them some solid goaltending. Something they have quite frankly lacked since the days of an old Khabibulin.

The Pittsburgh Penguins:
The combo of Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith has actually worked in Pittsburgh, so far. Jarry has taken the lead role and is a 21-7-4. He has a 2.10 goals against and a .928 save percentage. The Penguins should definitely be happy about those numbers. The offense for Pittsburgh has also helped, and the have been lighting the lamp more consistently. However, come playoff time, its a different story. Neither Jarry no DeSmith have decent playoff history.
Fleury heading back to the Penguins would be an amazing storyline that would be a full-circle moment for the future Hall of Famer. He spent over a decade in Pittsburgh before the Vegas expansion drafted snagged a golden nugget of a goalie. There's no doubt if the Blackhawks management approached Flower about heading back to Pittsburgh, he would definitely be open to conversation.

The Washington Capitals:
Braden Holtby packing his bags and heading to Dallas had left a noticeable hole in Capitals net. The Caps don't have a legitimate number one netminder, as the two goalies have split the season so far. Ilya Samsonov has played 21 games this season. He has gone 13-9-3 in net for the Caps. Vitek Vancek has played 19 games going 9-15-5. Both netminders have decent numbers, but the playoffs once again are a different animal. Could Fleury add help his former nemesis Alex Ovechkin get back to the Finals?

Only time will tell, but we shall see picks up the inevitable Hall of Famer. Where do you think he will go? My guess is he stays with Chicago and enjoys his 7mil retirement funding. Then move to a warmer place when its all said and done.
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