Following one of Marc Andre-Fleury’s most successful seasons in the NHL, he has been traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. The trade has surprised a few people, including Fleury himself who said, “Just my agent gave me a call, told me that it was out on Twitter that I was traded, and so that’s how I found out”.
The 36-year-old Canadian has had a successful career, including being a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Pirates and arguably should have won at least one Stanley Cup with the Golden Knights as they made it to the semi-finals twice and finals once in his four-year tenure with the team.
Fleury won both the Vezina and the William M Jennings trophies, last season, as well as ten other personal awards. The Blackhawks have been rebuilding recently and Fleury is a great addition to their building block.
Chicago Needed a Goalie
Fleury initially hoped to finish his career in Las Vegas, hence the reason the trade was such a surprise, at one point there were also some whispers that he was considering retirement. With that being said Fleury has since been positive about the trade and even posted on social media “I’m in let’s get to work”.
He has signed for $7 million and after this season he is a free agent. Kevin Lankinen had a pretty decent first season in the NHL last year, but a seasoned and veteran goaltender like Fleury can help mentor a young player like this. I mean who else would you want as a mentor other than the current holder of the Vezina trophy winner. No doubt Fleury would be the number one goaltender to start the season but, if things take a dramatic drop in form, we could see Lankinen get more ice time.
Chicago Are in a Rebuild
It’s very apparent that the Blackhawks are in a major rebuild right now, they are now seven years removed from their last Stanley Cup back in 2015, plus the Blackhawks have failed to make the playoffs in three of the past five seasons and the two years they did make the playoffs they were knocked out in the first round.
Last season they started 10 rookies and failed to make the playoffs. Fleury knows he is getting himself into a rebuild having said “They still have a lot of young guys, but they also gained some experience in the past few seasons here,”.
The Blackhawks still have a few guys on the team who were Stanley Cup champions in 2015, and the addition of Tyler Johnson from Tampa was a very good acquisition. What we are trying to get at here is maybe if this all clicks for the Blackhawks, they could somehow become dark horses this season, especially if they have Fleury and Lankinen red hot heading into the playoffs.
Fleury Will Fit In at Chicago
Toews seems to have had an influence in Fleury deciding to give it a go here at Chicago, as apparently, he talked him into the idea. It seems the idea of Fleury playing against an old rival in the form of Patrick Kane was also as much of a lure as Fleury said, “Kane’s one of the guys who gave me the most trouble in shootouts during my career,”. “I am Looking forward to getting to practice with him every day and having some good battles with him.”
Fleury is up for splitting goaltender duties with the young Lankinen as he has said he looks forward to the development of the young player and that it is going to be a crazy schedule and two goaltenders sharing duties will be a positive rather than a negative.
Although life as a Blackhawk hasn’t quite gotten off on the right for the veteran as his new team misspelled his name during a Jersey unveiling post on social media, spelling his name Fluery instead of Fleury.
It’s going to be an interesting season over in Chicago, they have this really cool rebuild happening and who knows what the season has in store for them.
Fleury will be a positive for this team, we have no doubt about that, is it any coincidence his former team made it into the playoffs four years in a row?