And that’s why they’re going to keep Marc-Andre Fleury.
Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford spoke with NHL.com on Thursday ahead of the March 1 trade deadline to address the elephant in the Penguins’ room: Fleury’s future with the team. With two years left on his contract and Matt Murray entrenched as Pittsburgh’s starter, Fleury’s time with the Penguins is short anyway.
But Rutherford said it likely won’t reach that end soon.
“I’m going to say what I’ve said all along. I’d prefer to keep him,” Rutherford told NHL.com’s Wes Crosby. “We play a lot of games in March. You don’t know when players are going to get hurt. He’s handled the situation very well.
“I’m going to have some communication with him in between now and the [deadline] and see exactly where he sits and how he feels. That will play a part in the final decision. But I’m not going to get too far ahead of myself because he very well could be a part of our team going down the stretch.”
In other words, if Fleury specifically asks out of Pittsburgh then Rutherford will try to oblige. But if given the choice, the Penguins will hold onto him through the spring.
Fleury entered the season with a chance to win his job back from Murray, especially when the younger goalie missed the first few weeks of the season due to injury. But Fleury has been rather unspectacular: a 3.16 goals against average, a .906 save percentage and a 15-7-5 record.