What was dead rose from the NHL trade graveyard. What we thought was off was back on as the Chicago Blackhawks finally dealt defenseman Duncan Keith the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for young defenseman Caleb Jones and a draft pick. That part won’t too much worry Vegas Golden Knights fans, but what followed might affect Marc-Andre Fleury and a Golden Knights trade.
Scott Powers of The Athletic, as part of his trade follow-up and analysis, reported the Chicago Blackhawks are now in on everyone’s favorite smiling goalie, Fleury.
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Fleury will make $7 million this season, but it is the final year of the 36-year-old goalie’s contract. Fleury, who has been rumored in sentiment and past Golden Knights trade reports to his former Pittsburgh Penguins, would immediately be the top goalie in Chicago.
With some irony, it was the Chicago Blackhawks who traded Robin Lehner to the Golden Knights at the 2020 NHL Trade deadline, although two sides used the Toronto Maple Leafs as a third party to eat some of Lehner’s cap hit.
“It came down to us wanting a higher comfort level that we were strong enough at that position. It’s rare a goaltender enjoying one of the best seasons of any goalie in the National Hockey League would be available,” Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon said at the time. “Felt this was a way to solidify our team.”
Vegas parted with a fifth-rounder, backup goalie Malcolm Subban, and prospect Stanislav Demin for Lehner, some salary retention, and Martins Dzierkals.
Marc-Andre Fleury, NHL Trade Market
And now Chicago has come calling to complete the circle of life. Chicago is currently without a No. 1 goalie. They have only Subban and Kevin Lankinen under contract.
After the Keith trade, because Chicago did not retain any salary and managed to acquire Jones and a third-round pick, Chicago has a few more dollars to spend. They currently have about $11 million in salary-cap space with 22 players under contract, according to Puckpedia.com.
Chicago also figures to lose another salary to the Seattle Kraken next week, making Fleury’s $7 million even more attainable.
In direct comparison, the Pittsburgh Penguins are slightly over the cap with a significant hole at right-defense and two RFAs to sign.
That certainly makes for an intriguing discussion, and a healthy competition for Marc-Andre Fleury on the NHL trade market only increases the price and makes a Golden Knights trade more possible.