Marc Andre Fleury, as expected, will enter the season without a new extension. “I’m not in a hurry to do a contract with him,” Penguins GM Jim Rutherford told the Tribune-Review Monday.
Rutherford did note he see’s Fleury as having the ability to remain the Penguins long-term goaltender but the buzz surrounding Fleury within the first couple weeks of Rutherford being at the helm has always been that he would take a wait and see approach with Fleury and it’s the right move.
This media narrative that Fleury’s play was any different in 2013-2014 than previous years continues to not add up. He finished the season with a .915 save percentage, which is average for goaltenders, and right around where he’s been the last couple seasons.
Fleury enters this season carrying a $5 million cap hit and is set to make $5.75 millon in the last year of his contract. He will be the 15th highest paid goaltender in the NHL.
While not a goaltender whose highly thought of by executives around the league, Fleury projects as the best goaltender who could hit the open market next season.
POTENTIAL GOALTENDER UFA’S NEXT SUMMER
1. Marc Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild
3. Viktor Fasth, Edmonton Oilers
4. Antti Niemi, San Jose Sharks
5. Michal Neuvrith, Buffalo Sabres
6. Ray Emery, Philadelphia Flyers
7. Thomas Greiss, Pittsburgh Penguins
8. Cam Talbot, New York Rangers
9. Evgeni Nabokov, Tampa Bay Lightning
10. Kari Ramo, Calgary Flames
Unless Thomas Greiss comes onto the scene and makes the Penguins believers that he’s a No. 1 goaltender, and let’s just say there’s some intrigue there from some in the organization, the chances of Fleury getting an extension at somepoint is very likely because of the lack of available goaltenders via trade or free agency, but it won’t be on the terms that Fleury’s agent Allan Walsh has in mind which I hear is 6 years, $36 million.