CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Blackhawks are acquiring Vezina Trophy winning goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights, although it’s unclear if he will actually report to his new team.
The Blackhawks announced Tuesday afternoon that they had acquired Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins before he joined the Golden Knights in 2017-18, in exchange for minor league forward Mikael Hakkarainen.READ MORE: Jussie Smollett Trial: Defense Attorney Calls For Mistrial And Accuses Judge Of Lunging At Her; Judge Denies Claims And Motion
“The opportunity to acquire a Vezina-winning goaltender is rare and one you cannot pass up,” said Blackhawks President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Stan Bowman. “Marc-Andre improves our goaltending, strengthens our team defense and will have a huge impact on the overall development of the Blackhawks. Having a goaltender like this on our team will put the talent we currently have on our roster in a better position to achieve sustained success. The entire organization is thrilled to have this future Hall of Famer on our team and his reputation of being an excellent teammate on and off the ice precedes him.”
According to published reports, the Blackhawks will be taking on all of Fleury’s $7 million cap hit for the one remaining year on his contract.
However, published reports said Fleury is considering possible retirement instead of playing anywhere other than Las Vegas. If he were to retire, Chicago would not be charged with his $7 million cap hit.
“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,” Fleury’s agent, Allan Walsh, posted on Twitter on Tuesday.READ MORE: 2 Injured In Shooting On Dan Ryan Expressway Near 57th Street
If Fleury does decide to play for the Blackhawks, he would instantly become he team’s No. 1 goalie.
Fleury, 36, won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie in 2021, after going 26-10-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average, .928 save percentage and six shutouts with the Golden Knights. He was 9-7 with a 2.04 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout in 16 playoff games.
Fleury is the NHL’s active leader in career regular season (492) and Stanley Cup Playoff wins (90) as well as regular-season games played (883) and postseason appearances (162). His 492 regular season wins is third most in NHL history while his 90 playoff victories rank fourth.
If Fleury does play for the Blackhawks, he would be the second major acquisition in recent days, after acquiring defenseman Seth Jones from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Adam Boqvist over the weekend.
Jones agreed to an eight-year, $76 million extension with the Blackhawks as part of the trade.MORE NEWS: Jefferson Park Homeowner Creates Visual Magic, With Huge Rotating Christmas Tree Poking Through Roof; 'Go Big, Or Go Home'
The Blackhawks also swapped first-round draft picks with Columbus, dropping from the 12th pick to the 32nd. The Blue Jackets also got a 2021 second-round pick from the Blackhawks, and a conditional first-round draft pick in 2022. The Blackhawks picked up a sixth-round pick in 2022 in the trade.