While the Chicago Blackhawks have made a slew of roster moves this offseason, none have caused quite the commotion as the team’s acquisition of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, and now it seems that we finally have some clarity on whether he’ll suit up for the club this fall.
The team kicked things off on Sunday morning by tweeting a single flower emoji:
Fleury’s nickname is “Flower,” prompting fans to speculate as to whether or not the netminder had decided to play for the Blackhawks, after previously expressing some hesitance after being traded from the Vegas Golden Knights.
Soon after, several reporters, including David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, Frank Seravalli of Daily Face-off Hockey and Emily Kaplan of ESPN, confirmed a report from Barstool Sports’ Ryan Brandell that Fleury had indeed decided to suit up for the Blackhawks:
Fleury is fresh off a Vezina Trophy-winning season with the Golden Knights, with a 1.98 goals against average and a .928 save percentage in 36 games. He has one year left on a contract that will pay him $7 million this season, and he will likely be the Blackhawks’ starter over Kevin Lankinen on opening night.
Adding Fleury was a huge risk for the Blackhawks, as rumors had swirled that he had contemplated retirement after being dissatisfied following the trade from Vegas due to family concerns.
Now, G.M. Stan Bowman will need to tinker with the roster to become salary cap compliant, with new deals still needed for Alex Nylander and Brandon Hagel requiring a bit of movement in terms of money.