Fleury will join the Golden Knights after Pittsburgh included a draft pick in order to ensure he was selected in the expansion draft, Pierre LeBrun of TSN reports.
With a significant number of solid goaltenders exposed to the expansion draft, the Penguins evidently wanted to guarantee that Fleury would be the player they were losing. The Golden Knights are not only getting their No. 1 netminder, but also a three-time Stanley Cup champion and consummate teammate who will almost certainly become the face of the franchise. There is an intriguing symmetry in this selection as it comes 14 years to the day from when Fleury was selected first overall by Pittsburgh in the 2003 NHL Draft.
It's an unsurprising move by the Penguins, as it's no secret that Pittsburgh has moved on from Fleury to the 23-year-old Matt Murray. The veteran netminder should be one of the most recognizable names available in the expansion draft, so it wouldn't be surprising if he's one of the names called Wednesday evening.
According to Lavoie, Fleury agreed to this stipulation back in February, which likely factored into general manager Jim Rutherford's decision not to trade the Flower at the deadline. While there will be several goalies available for the Golden Knights to select, few will have the pedigree of a three-time champion with 410 combined regular season and playoff victories under his belt. It seems all but certain the Fleury era is over in Pittsburgh which was capped off by the 32-year-old passing the Stanley Cup to Matt Murray during the team's post-game celebration.
Fleury stayed on the ice late after practice Friday, and he'll defer to Matt Murray as the evening's starter against the Senators for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports.
The first goalie to leave the ice in the a.m. is almost always the one to start that night, and it's been explicitly stated that Murray will make his first start of the 2017 postseason. Evidently, Penguins coach Mike Sullivan doesn't want to take his chances with Fleury after he coughed up four goals on nine shots in Game 3. The decision to go with Murray, who was instrumental in helping the Penguins claim the Stanley Cup trophy last June, definitely wasn't made in haste; Sully took all of Thursday to mull it over despite what must've been intense pressure from the media to tip his hand. Pittsburgh finds itself in a 2-1 series deficit with another road game on tap.
Fleury was yanked in Wednesday's Game 3 loss to Ottawa after allowing four goals on nine shots, and head coach Mike Sullivan says he hasn't considered who will start Game 4, Johnathan Bombulie of TribLive.com reports.
The fight was seemingly sucked out of the Pens by the time fellow netminder Matt Murray came in as relief; nevertheless, he deflected 19 of the 20 shots he faced. After this impressive outing, head coach Mike Sullivan has a tough decision to make, yet he claims to have not considered it. Pittsburgh is in a tough position right now down 2-1 in the series, making this decision even more important. There's no clear timeline for when Sullivan will delegate either goaltender, so continue to check back periodically before Game 4 on Friday.