The performance of Matt Murray in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ run to the Stanley Cup, the likely 2017-18 NHL expansion player redistribution and the upcoming cap-space-crunch that the Pens are facing have all contributed to the chatter about Marc-Andre Fleury’s future in the City of Champions.
According to a report from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun, the calls to Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford have begun.
[quote_left author=”Eric Francis, Calgary Sun“]
Trading Fleury now is best for everyone involved.
Flames GM Brad Treliving is well aware of the possible fit and, as should be expected from the diligent workhorse, he’s been in contact with (Penguins GM Jim) Rutherford.
The Penguins are currently $2.5 million over the $71.4 million salary cap, and that situation could worsen if the rumors of a salary cap reduction come to be true. For the next three seasons Fleury delivers a cap hit of $5.75 million, which is not out of range for the Flames current budget.
If the Penguins end up keeping both Fleury and Murray heading into the expected expansion draft next year, Fluery could be exposed, and leave the Penguins without compensation if he was selected. Almost every hockey pundit and expert has said that Matt Murray clearly made a case for him to be the Penguins’ starter going forward. He also carries a very affordable $620,000 cap hit next season.
Earlier this season Pens GM Rutherford stated that Fleury was “absolutely not” done in Pittsburgh. Meeting with the media yesterday, when asked about the situation with Fleury and the club’s 22-year-old Murray, Rutherford said, “If it wasn’t for Fleury, we wouldn’t have made the playoffs. In a perfect world, [head coach Mike Sullivan] and I would like to keep both Matt and Marc-Andre.” (per DKonPittsburghSports.com)
Fleury gives Rutherford and the Penguins a list of 12 teams that he’d be willing to move to, according to his no-trade, no-move contract. Is Calgary on that list?