Just as the draft is set to begin, the Minnesota Wild have finalized a deal with Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury will return to Minnesota on a two-year, $3.5MM AAV deal, per a team announcement. The deal carries a full no-movement clause and has an even $3.5MM salary for each year that it runs, which means the normal rules covering 35+ contracts will not apply to this deal.
Fleury was sent to Minnesota in a mid-season trade and found success there, going 9-2-0 with a .910 save percentage. Like the rest of the Wild, Fleury struggled in the playoffs, eventually ceding the starter’s crease to Cam Talbot. The Talbot and Fleury tandem is set to return, and GM Bill Guerin told The Athletic’s Michael Russo that they believe their tandem is “one of the strongest” in the NHL.
Fleury’s deal also takes a big name off of the UFA goalie market, a group he was set to headline that also includes Darcy Kuemper, Jack Campbell, and Ville Husso. Now back in Minnesota, Fleury will likely split starts with Talbot as the team chases its first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
For the Wild, getting Fleury at a $3.5MM AAV is a good bit of business. With starting-caliber goalies often costing $5MM-6MM on the open market, having Fleury at a number under $4MM should help the Wild navigate the treacherous cap waters they plunged themselves into with the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter buyouts.