The Easy Deadline Decision for Marc-Andre Fleury

Marc-Andre Fleury, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
Marc-Andre Fleury, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /

Where will Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury be at this time next week?

That is one of the many questions that hockey fans are asking as the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline is now only days away. There are few players with more trade value this March than the Flower, but there is one destination that seems obvious to me for the netminder.

There are certainly plenty of good fits for the three-time Stanley Cup champion, such as the Washington Capitals and Edmonton Oilers. There has also been no shortage of rumors regarding his potential move to the Toronto Maple Leafs or a reunion with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Any of those options would require the green light from the 37-year-old, as his 10-team modified no-trade clause gives him a say in where he ends up. For that reason, it seems likely to me that Fleury will remain in Chicago.

There is one easy choice for Marc-Andre Fleury at the deadline.

When the Blackhawks acquired Fleury, I expected them to qualify for the playoffs and potentially contend for the Stanley Cup. Although it’s obvious at this point that that will not be the case, I still think the Flower will stay in the Windy City.

Think back to the summer when there were rumors that the former first-overall pick might retire rather than relocate to Chicago. The veteran was not totally on board with the idea of moving his family, and that was with several months to make the move.

Why, then, would he be interested in moving his family/moving away from his family for the remainder of this campaign? Sure, the Hawks may not be contenders, but at this stage in Fleury’s life, different things take priority.

Further, he is in the final year of his contract, which means that he can become a free agent at the conclusion of this season. That would not only mean another potential move, the third in roughly a year, but also that he can choose his next destination.

At this point in his career, his next contract could be his last one, so he could take full control over where he goes and for how long. With that opportunity only months away, why would he want to move now?

There are plenty of NHL teams that would love to have Marc-Andre Fleury for a championship pursuit, and I’m sure the Blackhawks would love to capitalize on his high trade value. However, I don’t think it makes sense for him, and I believe that will ultimately keep him in Chicago.

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There’s no doubt that Fleury’s time with the Blackhawks is limited, but it may not conclude as quickly as many people believe.