The Chicago Blackhawks are trading goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to the Minnesota Wild for a conditional draft pick.
The Blackhawks will receive a conditional second-round pick that will become a first-round selection if the Wild make the conference finals and Fleury wins four games in the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Chicago will reportedly retain 50% of Fleury’s salary.
Fleury was the goalie to get this trade deadline, but only if he wanted to be gotten. With his modified no-trade clause, the three-time Stanley Cup winner held the cards, and it appeared he wanted to go only to a contender. He has a connection to Minnesota, having played with Wild general manager Bill Guerin on the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fleury almost didn’t end up in Chicago. After the Blackhawks traded for him in July in a cap-saving move by Vegas, he took his time to decide whether to report. He finally decided to play for the Original Six franchise, even if its future was muddled. He reportedly enjoyed his time in the Windy City and was reluctant to leave for just any team.
After the trade, Fleury spoke to TSN and was asked why he waived his no-trade clause.
“I think just a chance to be in the playoffs, a chance to get there, to battle to get there, to battle to go win. I think that’s why we all play in the end,” he said. “Also, a good fit for me with my family. They’re going to stay in Chicago. And it’s not too far away.
“And obviously they [Wild] have a great team. They’re great defensively. They have a lot of big guys and they play well. … I’m lucky that things worked out.”
Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said in a statement: “In a short time with the Blackhawks, Marc-Andre made quite an impression on our fanbase and in our locker room. We appreciate his willingness to work with us on finding a deal that worked for everyone.”
Chicago had playoff aspirations coming into the season, but a dreadful start pretty much doomed it.
The Flower now moves on to chase his fourth Stanley Cup.
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