Marc-Andre Fleury has had a rough November. After allowing six goals to Minnesota on Friday, his save percentage for the month fell to .889.
Sharing the net with Matt Murray, Fleury just hasn’t been able to get into a groove. And that’s a problem, admits his general manager.
“Despite the fact I like having the two top goalies, it’s difficult when both goalies are used to playing the majority of the games,” Jim Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Monday. “You get into weeks where they’re splitting and going every other game. That hasn’t worked, at this point, as well as I thought it would.”
Murray, for the record, has been just fine. The 22-year-old has a .939 save percentage since returning from a broken hand.
But Rutherford’s remarks will only serve to further the speculation about a potential trade.
From the Post-Gazette:
The Penguins can only protect one goalie in the expansion draft and, at this point, it would have to be Fleury, because his contract includes a no-movement clause. He could be asked to waive that clause, although there’s no indication such a request has been made.
Rutherford declined to say whether other teams have inquired about trading for Fleury or Murray, and said the Penguins’ inconsistent play through 22 games is not reason to make a major personnel move.
It seems unlikely that a trade would occur now, just a quarter of the way through the season. Fleury is signed through 2018-19 for a cap hit of $5.75 million; his contract would take some maneuvering to move.
But this story won’t be going away. Even without the expansion draft, the Penguins would have one starting goalie too many. It’s not the worst problem to have, but it’s a situation that will require a resolution by June 17 at the latest.