Marc-Andre Fleury has informed the Blackhawks that he intends to play for the team next season. The news was made official on Sunday.
”Hey Chicago, it’s Marc,” Fleury said in a video posted on the Blackhawks’ social media account. “Just wanted to let you know: I’m in. Let’s get to work.”
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Fleury, who has one year left on his contract that carries a $7 million cap hit, was “taking time to discuss his situation with his family and seriously evaluate his hockey future,” according to his agent Allan Walsh, immediately after being traded out of Vegas, where he hoped to finish his NHL career.
Fleury, 36, went 26-10-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average, .928 save percentage and six shutouts last season for the Golden Knights. He also went 9-7 with w 2.04 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout in 16 playoff contests.
Fleury was named the Vezina Trophy winner as the league’s top goaltender, and is only the second goaltender in NHL history to be traded in the offseason after winning the award. Dominik Hasek is the other when he was traded from Buffalo to Detroit in 2001-02.
It’s significant news for the Blackhawks, who suddenly have a formidable duo with one of the league’s best netminders in Fleury and a potential rising starter in Kevin Lankinen.