After losing his job to Matt Murray (twice, really), Marc-Andre Fleury saw his decade-plus in Pittsburgh come to an end on a high note, with another Stanley Cup, before he got claimed by Vegas in the expansion draft. In his new home, Fleury will once more be a No. 1 netminder with a fighting chance at 60-plus appearances. Of course, the Golden Knights are a team with both eyes on the future rather than 2017-18, and it remains to be seen how they'll gel in their inaugural season -- hence the risk of using Fleury as an everyday fantasy starter. Owners should also keep in mind that the puck-playing keeper likes to patrol outside the crease, which figures to induce as many head-scratching moments as jaw-dropping saves. With his track record, Fleury is capable of carrying Vegas to a respectable season, but the 30-win mark is likely his ceiling with the nascent franchise.
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.
Fleury was left unprotected by the Penguins ahead of Wednesday's expansion draft, TSN reports. 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.
Fleury has agreed to waive his no-movement clause in order to allow the Penguins to expose him in the expansion draft, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. According to Lavoie, Fleury agreed to this stipulation back in February, which likely factored into general manager Jim Rutherford's decision not to trade him 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 symbolized by the 32-year-old passing the Stanley Cup to Matt Murray during the team's post-game celebration Sunday.
Fleury stayed on the ice late after morning skate Friday since Matt Murray has been appointed the starter against the Senators for Game 4 that evening, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. The first goalie to leave the ice 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 game in the Canadian capital 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 said he hasn't considered who will start Game 4, Johnathan Bombulie of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 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 claimed not to have considered it yet. Pittsburgh is in a tough position with a 2-1 series deficit, making this decision even more important. There's no clear timeline for when Sullivan will choose his goaltender, but it's sure to be announced ahead of Game 4 on Friday.
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