The Minnesota Wild are fully buying into a 2022 Stanley Cup playoff run as they acquire 2020-21 Vezina Trophy winner goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury prior to the NHL Trade Deadline from the Chicago Blackhawks for a conditional 2nd-Round draft pick that can turn into a 1st-Round pick.
Following a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning to send forward Brandon Hagel and two 4th-Rounders (2022 and 2024) for multiple 1st-Round picks (2023 and 2024), Taylor Raddysh, and Boris Katchouk, the Chicago Blackhawks continue to be sellers at the trade deadline to build more draft stock for the future.
Just last week, the Hawks were without a draft choice on day one of the 2022 NHL Draft after having given their only one up to the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Seth Jones in the offseason.
The Chicago Blackhawks have finalized a trade call to send goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to the Minnesota Wild.
While this selection is top-2 protected, it’s unlikely that Chicago is gifted the No. 1 or the No. 2 pick in the lottery draft, thus making it imperative that the team made a deal to acquire a 1st-Round pick after a 22-32-9 season that’s been full of struggles.
Throughout the 2021-22 NHL season, Marc-Andre Fleury has played in 45 games with a record of 19-21-5 posting a 2.95 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage.
For a team that ranks second-last in the Central Division of the Western Conference, these numbers are rather impressive. With a rather good team in front of him like the Wild have, Fleury’s numbers will surely improve considerably.
What does this mean for Minnesota and the other netminders on the team? While Cam Talbot will most definitely remain on the roster and provide a reliable one-two punch rotation, it’s said that Kaapo Kahkonen is on the move to the San Jose Sharks after losing his value in the depth chart.
While the exact transaction is yet to be announced, the Wild are now set with an elite goaltender for the postseason.
As for the Blackhawks, the rotation will require Kevin Lankinen and others in the pipeline to fill the void, which is substantial. If their transactions ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline are any indication of their future, the Windy City is officially buying into the rebuild and we could see a shell-shocking offseason in which Jonathan Toews and/or Patrick Kane are dealt away.