According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, the Vegas Golden Knights traded goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday in exchange for forward prospect Mikael Hakkarainen. TSN’s Frank Seravalli reported that Fleury’s heart is in Las Vegas and may not report to Blackhawks’ training camp in the fall. He will discuss the matter over the next few days with his family.
The Fourth-Period’s David Pagnotta added that the Golden Knights and Toronto Maple Leafs discussed Fleury, who found out about the trade through Twitter.
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.
— Allan Walsh (@walsha) July 27, 2021
The 36-year-old is coming off of his first career Vezina Trophy victory in 2020-21. Fleury, who combined with teammate Robin Lehner to capture the 2020-21 William M. Jennings Trophy, ranked third in the NHL in wins (26), goals-against average (1.98), save percentage (.928), and shutouts (six) in 36 appearances. He posted the best save percentage and goals-against average of his 18-season NHL career.
He has one season left on a contract that carries a $7 million cap hit.
In 883 career regular-season games with the Golden Knights and Pittsburgh Penguins, Fleury has recorded 492-276-80 with a .913 save percentage, a 2.55 goals-against average, and 67 shutouts. In 162 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, he has posted a 90-70 record, a .912 save percentage, a 2.53 goals-against average, and 16 shutouts. He led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup in 2009 and was the backup of their 2016 and 2017 championship teams behind Matt Murray.
During the Golden Knights’ run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018, their inaugural season, Fleury went 13-7 with a .927 save percentage, a 2.24 goals-against average, and four shutouts.
The Golden Knights moved Fleury because they just signed Lehner to a five-year contract that carries a $5 million cap hit last offseason. With $12 million of their salary cap committed to goalies and it being flat for the foreseeable future, that prevented them from having the depth they desire at forward. Since Fleury has just one season left on his contract, it made sense for the Golden Knights to move on.
Hakkarainen played in six AHL games with the Rockford IceHogs last season, posting a -1 rating, and had one assist and a -5 rating in six ECHL games.
By Harrison Brown