After being unexpectedly traded from the Vegas Golden Knights to the Chicago Blackhawks on July 27, the agent for Marc-Andre Fleury announced that Fleury would need some time to evaluate his career. That time is over and it ended as you may have expected.
Fleury will report to Chicago and play the 2021-22 season.
Cmon, Fleury is too good of a person to play diva games.
After Fleury was traded, Fleury’s agent Allan Walsh tweeted the following.
“While Marc-Andre Fleury still hasn’t heard from anybody with the Vegas Golden Knights, he has apparently been traded to Chicago. Marc-Andre will be taking time to discuss his situation with his family and seriously evaluate his hockey future at this time.”
There were persistent rumors from the Athletic, which the outlet later reversed, that the Pittsburgh Penguins were trying to acquire Fleury. Still, rumors persisted Fleury could refuse to play for the team that has its own share of problems to deal with and potentially returning to Pittsburgh in the final year of his contract.
None of these rumors had any legs though. The 36-year-old goaltender officially announced today that he will join the Blackhawks for the upcoming season. This was first reported by Barstool Chief on Friday.
Fleury spent four years with the Vegas Golden Knights. He was an original expansion draft selection from Pittsburgh. He led the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018. He won a Vezina and Jennings trophy in 2021 and was a fan-favorite among all Golden Knights fans.
“He wanted to play in Vegas,” Golden Knights General Manager Kelly McCrimmon said of his trade conversations with Fleury.
But with the team up against the salary cap and still looking to win a Stanley Cup, Fleury and his $7 million cap hit were shipped out.
In exchange for Fleury, the Knights got low-level minor leaguer Mikael Hakkarainen from Chicago as well as cap space used to bring in Evgenii Dadonov, Laurent Brossoit, and bring back Mattias Janmark.
The Golden Knights also traded fan-favorite in Ryan Reaves to the New York Rangers for a third-round pick to clear additional cap space, though the team remains over the cap.
After Alex Tuch’s shoulder surgery, LTIR cap space can be utilized until Tuch returns in January or February, but one or more moves to open additional space are likely.
Fleury will return to Vegas on Saturday, Jan. 8 when the Blackhawks come to T-Mobile Arena.
Mark your calendars.