For the second time in five days, the Blackhawks have made a splash.
After acquiring four-time All-Star defenseman Seth Jones on NHL Draft day, the Blackhawks have landed Vezina Trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for prospect Mikael Hakkarainen, the team announced Tuesday. There is no salary retention involved.
Fleury has one year left on his contract that carries a $7 million cap hit. He has a modified no-trade clause, which includes a 10-team no-trade list, and Chicago was not on that list.
Fleury, 36, went 26-10-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average, .928 save percentage and six shutouts this season with the Golden Knights. He also went 9-7 with a 2.04 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout in 16 postseason contests.
Fleury is a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins and ranks third all-time with 492 wins.
"The opportunity to acquire a Vezina-winning goaltender is rare and one you cannot pass up," President/GM Stan Bowman said in a statement. "Marc-Andre improves our goaltending, strengthens our team defense and will have a huge impact on the overall development of the Blackhawks. Having a goaltender like this on our team will put the talent we currently have on our roster in a better position to achieve sustained success.
"The entire organization is thrilled to have this future Hall of Famer on our team and his reputation of being an excellent teammate on and off the ice precedes him."
There's a chance, however, that Fleury could contemplate retirement after being traded out of Vegas, where he would have preferred to finish his NHL career. His agent Allan Walsh tweeted after the trade broke that Fleury "will be taking time to discuss his situation with his family and seriously evaluate his hockey future at this time."
If Fleury chooses to retire, the Blackhawks will face no cap penalty and his $7 million cap hit will be completely removed from the books. It's a low-risk acquisition by the Blackhawks, although it will be interesting to see how this story develops moving forward.