Vegas trades NHL top goalie Fleury to Chicago

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·2 min read
Three-time stanley Cup champion Marc-Andre Fleury, an NHL Vezina Trophy winner as top goaltender this past season, was traded from the Vegas Golden Knights to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday
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Three-time Stanley Cup champion goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, winner of this year's Vezina trophy as the NHL's top netminder, was traded on Tuesday by the Vegas Golden Knights to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The 36-year-old Canadian went 26-10 with a 1.98 goals-against average, a .928 save percentage and six shutouts over 36 games this past season then went 9-7 in the playoffs as the Knights fell to Montreal in the Stanley Cup semi-finals.

Fleury helped the Golden Knights to the 2018 Cup final, losing to Washington in five games, after having won the trophy three times (2009, 2016, 2017) in 13 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He ranks third on the NHL's all-time goalie win list with 492, trailing only compatriots Martin Brodeur with 691 and Patrick Roy with 551.

"The opportunity to acquire a Vezina-winning goaltender is rare and one you cannot pass up," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said.

"Marc-Andre improves our goaltending, strengthens our team defense and will have a huge impact on the overall development of the Blackhawks.

"The entire organization is thrilled to have this future Hall of Famer on our team."

Vegas, which received forward Mikael Hakkarainen in exchange, had one season remaining on a three-year deal worth $21 million with Fleury, who had said a month ago he hoped to stay with the Golden Knights.

"I haven't given much thought to the future, but it's always been in my heart to stick around and finish up here," Fleury said.

Allan Walsh, Fleury's agent, tweeted the goalie "will be taking time to discuss his situation with his family and seriously evaluate his hockey future at this time."

Robin Lehner, obtained from Chicago in a 2020 trade, signed a five-year deal worth $25 million last year with the Knights and split time in the season before Fleury took command in the playoffs.

Together they allowed an NHL-low 124 goals last season.

"Our relationship grew over the season," Fleury said. "We got along very good. As goalies, that's something you strive for is winning games, but also not giving up too much. I think both of us, we accomplished that this year."

Fleury was taken from the Penguins in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft and went 117-60 with 14 overtime losses in his time with Vegas with a 2.41 goals-against average and 23 shutouts over 192 regular season games. He was 28-19 in playoff contests with six shutouts.

The Blackhawks used three goalies last season, all of whom can become free agents after the 2021-22 campaign. Chicago went 24-25-7.

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