Marc-Andre Fleury had been the subject of multiple trade rumors and speculation ahead of the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline before ultimately being dealt to the Minnesota Wild, including the potential of him being traded to his longtime rival Washington Capitals. Ultimately, the 37-year-old goaltender opened up about the situation on Sunday’s TNT broadcast of Lightning-Islanders.
Fleury mentioned that there was interest from his longtime rival in the Washington Capitals, but the feeling wasn’t mutual. Per The Athletic and NHL on TNT’s Tarik El-Bashir, Fleury said this time with the Pittsburgh Penguins factored into his decision not to come to Washington at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline.
“It just didn’t seem right,” Fleury told TNT.
Fleury spent 13 years between the pipes with Pittsburgh, leading the Penguins to three Stanley Cup championships and overcoming the Capitals on multiple occasions en route to those titles. He ultimately left the Pens in 2017 as the Vegas Golden Knights’ first franchise starting netminder, leading the team to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. However, he’d go head-to-head with Washington again in that series. Vegas fell in five games to the Capitals as D.C. captured its first Stanley Cup title.
In 44 total career games against Washington, Fleury is 24-14-2 with a .911 save percentage and 2.65 GAA.
Vegas ended up trading the Canadian netminder to the Blackhawks over the offseason. in 45 games with Chicago, Fleury went 19-21-5 with a .908 save percentage and 2.95 GAA, and he was ultimately a top trade target at the deadline.
Washington and several other teams were reportedly looking to acquire the veteran. Per Brian MacLellan, the Capitals made calls about different goalies. However, he would need to see a “serious upgrade” in net to pull off a deal. And despite Washington reportedly making a “full-court press” for No. 29, Fleury didn’t want to come to The District. In turn, MacLellan didn’t acquire a goalie at the deadline. He instead decided to stick with Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov. In the end, Vanecek’s recent rise between the pipes made the team more confident in its current situation.