At this point, Fleury is the longest tenured Penguin of the current crop. Making his debut, with bright yellow pads, before the 2004-05 lock out at 18 his wild athleticism was apparent, letting everyone know exactly why he was the first #1 overall pick for the Penguins since Mario Lemieux.
|Marc-Andre Fleury, longest serving Penguin|
Last season Fleury signed a deal that would keep him in Pittsburgh for four more years at a cost of $5.75 million per season starting this season. Some praised the stability in the franchise's most important position. Others wondered about the cap hit for a position that, over the last half decade, has faltered from importance with winning teams taking chances are lesser named goalies, more average, who would front load rosters and simply ask goalies to not lose them games.
|Should we enjoy this while it lasts?|
The 2009-10 champions boasted a netminder tandem of Cristobal Huet and Antti Niemi. The 2012-13 champions? Corey Crawford and Ray Emery. Finally last year's team had the only holdover, Corey Crawford, as well as Scott Darling. Before winning two Cups, Crawford's highest salary was $2.5 million per year.
|When will Matt Murray take over?|
That's where we see Matt Murray. Murray, as we've been told, is a non-starter for trade talks. He's not going anywhere. We've also been told we'll be seeing more of him soon. But there's a big, Marc-Andre Fleury sized wall in his way from real playing time and being the franchise goalie he can be. The Penguins need forward help and cap space. In no other position (thanks in part to Ray Shero) are the Penguins particularly deep enough to trade and have a replacement in the wings.
According to General Fanager, as well as The Fourth Period, Marc-Andre Fleury's new deal came with a limited No Movement Clause. He can choose 12 teams he cannot be moved to but beyond that his fate is in the air.
|How soon will we see more of this?|
Trading a player like Fleury, who is so emotionally tied to a franchise, can seem unlikely. It can also prove to be somewhat painful as a fanbase if/when it happens. Facts being as they are, however, stand that in the current Penguins situation he's by far the mostly likely to be traded, fetch a solid return, and open up a world of cap space.
Is a Fleury trade on the horizon? Not in the immediate future. Should you be prepared for the possibility? It would be smart, as it's the most logical move. Stunning as it may be.