For all of the drama, breathless media reports, and NHL trade rumors that former Vegas Knights and Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury would not report to the Chicago Blackhawks after last week’s trade, Fleury will indeed report to Chicago.
That comes from sources who spoke to Barstool Sports.
PER A SOURCE: Marc-Andre Fleury Will Report To The Chicago Blackhawks https://t.co/tZ291HEBa4
— Chief (@BarstoolChief) July 30, 2021
Despite forceful trade rumors connecting Fleury to a Penguins trade, both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief Dan Kingerski reported Penguins sources indicated there would not be a Fleury-Penguins reunion via the NHL trade market.
With the help of an astute reader, Pittsburgh Hockey Now was also able to report that Fanatics Brand wholesalers began to take preorders for autographed Fleury-Blackhawks merchandise several days ago.
Fleury, 36, is the reigning Vezina Trophy winner. Vegas Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon sparked a public battle with Fleury’s agent, Allan Walsh, by trading Fleury to Chicago. Walsh accused McCrimmon of not informing Fleury of the trade and Tweeted well after the trade was public knowledge that no one had yet called Fleury.
Such disrespect to an important veteran is a no-no in hockey.
However, McCrimmon later claimed in his press conference that he kept Fleury and Walsh in the loop about every team which inquired, including Chicago.
There was a lot about the saga, from the NHL trade rumors involving the Penguins to McCrimmon’s comments that PHN questioned.
Fleury will be the unquestioned starter with the Chicago Blackhawks, unlike Vegas, where he was in a platoon situation with Robin Lehner. Chicago made a major push this offseason by picking up defenseman Seth Jones and forward Tyler Johnson on the NHL trade market. They also signed free agents Jake McCabe and Jujhar Khaira.
Chicago, which hired an independent investigator to investigate accusations the organization covered up sexual harassment and assault by a video coach nearly a decade ago, was also able to trade defensemen Duncan Keith and Nikita Zadarov to clear salary-cap space. However, the team is still about $1.4 million over the cap, according to PuckPedia.com.
With Fleury in goal and Jones on the blue line, the Blackhawks have a radically different look and personality from recent seasons.
Fleury has one season remaining on his contract, which carries a $7 million AAV. Kevin Lankinen is the backup.