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Rutherford Comments on Fleury Rumors
Tuesday, June 21
“I talked with Marc after things settled down after we won the Cup,” Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said, via Josh Yohe of DK Pittsburgh Sports. “There’s no push from him to be traded, and we aren’t pushing to trade him.”
“Absolutely,” Rutherford said when asked if Fleury and Matt Murray could split time next season. “That would be great.”
Flames Interested in Trading for Fleury
Thursday, June 16
Murray Led Penguins to Title After Fleury's Injury
The 31-year-old veteran suffered a concussion March 30 and was experiencing lingering symptoms from it, which thrust Murray between the pipes toward the end of the regular season.
Murray played exceptionally well in the playoffs, posting a 15-6 record with a 2.08 GAA.
The only postseason contest Fleury started was Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which Pittsburgh lost 4-3 in overtime to go down 3-2 in the series. After that, Murray went in and allowed only three goals over the next two games to help the Pens advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
"It's not easy when you're used to playing every night and you're on the bench, but I can't be selfish about it," said Fleury of being benched in the playoffs, per Francis. "The most important thing is winning."
Rutherford did say Thursday he hoped to have both netminders in the fold for next season, per Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Before the untimely head injury knocked Fleury out of the lineup for an extended period of time, he was as good as anyone at his position in the league. He wound up with a 35-17-6 record in 2015-16 with a 2.29 GAA.
But Fleury is due to count $5.75 million against the cap in each of the next three seasons, per Francis. Murray will only make $620,000 next season.
Pittsburgh is dealing with a delicate situation, and there is some risk going all-in on the 22-year-old Murray as the Penguins' goalie of the future. There's serious value to be had in trading Fleury, especially to a Flames team that yielded 3.1 goals per game this past season—the worst in the NHL.
A prospective trade involving Pittsburgh and Calgary would be highly beneficial for both sides. Fleury would be given a fresh start and an unquestioned starter's role, while the Pens would free up cap space and avoid a goaltender controversy as they gear up to defend the Stanley Cup.