Marc-Andre Fleury He is the winner of the Vezina Cup, and was voted as the best NHL goalkeeper by the league’s general managers. He is not a journeyman.
However, he was here moments after Monday’s 2022 NHL trade deadline, fresh on a private jet after being traded for the second time in less than a year.
Fleury being Flury, he was smiling and focused on the positivity. Joining the Minnesota Wild means one thing above all: a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
“There’s not much that beats winning,” Fleury said. “You can ask anyone who won. You always chase that feeling, that achievement.”
This is why Wild acquired Fleury from the Chicago Blackhawks, along with the striker Tyson Jost From Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, forward Nicolas Desloriers From the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday and defenseman Jacob Middleton From the San Jose Sharks on Monday.
Minnesota have played in the Stanley Cup playoffs eight times in the past nine seasons but have not won a round since 2014-15. After buying a defenseman Ryan Sutter forward Zach Barris On July 13, Wild will be pressed under the NHL’s salary cap starting next season.
Now is the time for it.
Wild (37-20-4) tied the Nashville Predators for second in the Central Division after a 3-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights at Xcel Energy Center on Monday. Although on Monday they entered third place in the NHL in goals-per-game (3.67), they were 22nd for (3.20) and 21 in savings ratio of 5 over 5 (0.913).
Fleury ranked third in regular season wins (511) and fourth in playoffs (90) in NHL history. He won the Stanley Cup three times with the Pittsburgh Penguins, in 2009, 2016 and 2017, and led the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season in 2017-18.
Statistically speaking, last season was the best of his career in the National Hockey League. He went 26-10-0 with 1.98 goals-to-average, 0.928 saves and six nets, and Vesina won for the first time. Oh, and he was in goal when the Golden Knights defeated the Wild in seven games in the first round of the playoffs, too.
“It’s no secret,” said Bill Geren, Wilde’s general manager, who won the cup with Fleury in 2009 as the eventual commercial acquisition. “I know Zahra. I know him very well. He has had a lot of success with the supplement, and I think it can help us all. This experience is key.”
Fleur had his ups and downs. He had to fight for his job in Pittsburgh and Vegas, and every time he ended up elsewhere. He considered retirement for family reasons after the Golden Knights traded him for the Black Hawk on July 27, then relented.
The 37-year-old has gone 19-21-5 with 2.95 goals-to-average, 908 savings and four closeouts this season. Chicago (22-32-9) is seventh in the Central Division.
All this applies here. He was a great teammate while fighting with him Matt Murray in Pittsburgh and Robin Liner In Vegas, and you know he’d be a great teammate to play with Cam Talbot in Minnesota. Guerin said that every goalkeeper is expected to play a lot.
“I don’t know him very much, but he seems like a great guy,” Florey said of Talbot, who saved 28 tackles in lockdown on Monday. “I have a lot of respect for him and what he did, obviously. For me, I always feel like… I don’t know. I don’t like competition between players. I always think we’re part of the team and we both want to help, so I think we’re going to do everything we can to make that happen.” “.
Geren said he spoke to Talbot on Sunday and Monday, and Talbot was one of the first to reach Florey.
“I’m confident that Cam Talbot as a player and as a person will do just fine,” said Geren. “And you know what? We are all chasing the same thing here, there is no place for… there is no place for trifles [stuff]. We’re in a team together, we’re trying to win.”
The family is still a problem for Florey, but he said Guerin reassured him after the trade. Minnesota is close to Chicago, so Florey and his family will be able to see each other.
Florey can become an unrestricted free agent after the season. Who knows what the future holds?! But Florey said he wants to play at least another season, and he’s taken it long enough to know how precious those opportunities are.
Perhaps on a better team, perhaps with the added snarl at the back end of the Deslauriers and Middleton, he could get his old charm back. Perhaps his happy position and the resumption of the championship can relieve the pressure and increase the confidence of the team trying to take the next step.
How do you squeeze your wand when Fleury’s back winks there, smiles, squeaks, and pats the goalposts?
“I still love playing,” Florey said. “I still love the feeling of winning, the feeling of being competitive on the ice and such, so I’m happy to be here and have this opportunity to play a little longer this year.”