While Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is unsure if he’ll be staying in Chicago past next month’s trade deadline, it seems like he’s making plans for next season. The veteran told reporters, including NHL.com’s Tracey Myers, that while his playing days are coming to a close, he’s hoping to play a 19th season in the NHL:
I don’t have that much left, right? So enjoy this season and hopefully next season again. After that, I don’t know.
Fleury is a pending unrestricted free agent and carries a pricey $7MM AAV but there has been some speculation of some contending teams being interested. While he doesn’t carry full trade protection, the Blackhawks have assured him that he will have a say on where he goes, if he winds up being moved. Fleury mentioned that while he has yet to speak to management about the possibility of a trade, he believes his agent Allan Walsh has been in touch with the team about that.
More from the Western Conference:
- While the Stars appear to be likely to part ways with pending UFA defenseman John Klingberg, they’re hoping to avoid a similar fate with center Joe Pavelski as Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News notes that Dallas is hoping to re-sign the 37-year-old. The veteran has a $7MM AAV and is on pace for a career high in points as he has 52 in just 47 games so far. There’s a strong case to be made that he’s worthy of a raise but the length of his next contract will be a big factor. If he was to go year-to-year, Pavelski could theoretically maximize his earnings but at this stage of his career, a multi-season commitment would certainly be appealing. With the Stars looking to keep the veteran, that should take him out of trade speculation for the time being.
- The Coyotes will welcome center Barrett Hayton back to the lineup on Saturday against Los Angeles, reports Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports (Twitter link). The 21-year-old has received a significant bump in ice time this season with his ATOI jumping up by more than five minutes a night but it hasn’t resulted in a jump in production as he has just two goals and four assists in 26 games so far. Hayton has been out for nearly six weeks with a hand injury and with his entry-level deal expiring this summer, he’ll be looking for a strong finish to his season to bolster his case for his second contract.