Most recent starts by Marc-Andre Fleury
Feb. 16 vs. Jets: Saved 44 of 47 shots faced, 4-3 overtime win
Feb. 11 at Coyotes: Saved 21 of 25, 4-3 overtime loss
Feb. 4 at Blues: Saved 22 of 23, 4-1 win
Jan. 14 at Red Wings: Saved 28 of 34, 6-3 loss
Jan. 11 at Capitals: Saved 25 of 29, 5-2 loss
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Updated 2 hours ago
Marc-Andre Fleury heard screams from the stands at PPG Paints Arena for the final time before the NHL trade deadline on Monday.
Whether Fleury, who will head west with the Penguins for games in Dallas on Tuesday and Chicago on Wednesday, expects to return to Pittsburgh as a member of the organization later this week remained unclear after the team wrapped up its “open practice” in front of about 7,000 elementary and middle school-aged students.
Children squealed. Fleury smiled. But it became harder for the veteran goalie to grin when he worked through the latest round of questions about his status with the Penguins, who must determine how best to deal with Fleury's no-movement clause ahead of the NHL expansion draft in June.
“We've been talking,” Fleury said of himself and general manager Jim Rutherford. “We'll keep talking until Wednesday. We'll see what happens.”
Rutherford has long indicated he prefers to hold onto Fleury and Matt Murray through the rest of the season. Neither goalie wants a back-up role, but the Penguins look intent on giving a sizeable majority of starts to Murray down the stretch.
“We play a lot of games in March,” Rutherford said on Thursday. “You don't know when players are going to get hurt. (Fleury) has handled the situation very well.”
Late Sunday night, Tampa Bay — another team with two quality goalies and not enough starts to spread around — pulled off a trade that sent Ben Bishop and a fifth-round draft pick to Los Angeles for backup netminder Peter Budaj, a prospect and two draft picks. Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman told reporters on Monday he found no other takers for Bishop, a 30-year-old goalie with a contract worth $4.76 million that expires after this season.
The shortage of teams interested in Bishop, a rental, suggests little to no market exists for 32-year-old Fleury, who comes with a $5.75 million cap hit and two more years on his contract. And Fleury has followed the chatter about the trade market, including the details of the Bishop deal.
“I take a peak every once in a while,” Fleury said. “I don't go look every hour of the day to see what's going on. … There's a lot of talks. Most of it doesn't happen, or they get it wrong.”
He added specifically about the Bishop trade: “Maybe not the team I was expecting to come up. … I don't see (Bishop) staying there for a long time.”
Bill West is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.
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