On this date in 2003, Marc-Andre Fleury went first overall to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL Entry Draft. Today, it does in fact appear, based on translated reports, that the popular veteran goaltender is heading to Vegas in the expansion draft.
Fleury has been, for quite some time now, mentioned as a possible option in net for the Vegas Golden Knights.
According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN, it also looks like the Penguins are sending a draft pick to the Golden Knights — a deal made to persuade George McPhee to take Fleury.
Now 32 years old, Fleury had a no-movement clause in his contract, but with Matt Murray taking over the No. 1 goaltending duties in Pittsburgh, Fleury decided to waive, making him available in the expansion draft.
As it stands right now, the Penguins now have about $15 million in cap space, according to CapFriendly, with 12 players on expiring contracts. That includes pending restricted free agents Conor Sheary, Brian Dumoulin and Justin Schultz. They also have a number of pending unrestricted free agents, like Nick Bonino, Trevor Daley, Chris Kunitz and possibly Ron Hainsey.
Pittsburgh’s general manager Jim Rutherford has urged the club’s pending UFAs to test the free agent market, but kept the door open to those who may want to return.
Fleury has become a fan-favorite in Pittsburgh, and he recently got the chance to say goodbye to Penguins fans.