The Washington Capitals could see one of their former foes and biggest obstacles from years past become one of their biggest assets, as rumors of Marc-Andre Fleury to D.C. are reportedly gaining traction.
Per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Capitals are indeed looking into the star netminder who won the Vezina in 2021.
“We should prepare ourselves for the possibility of Marc-Andre Fleury, Washington Capital,” Friedman wrote in his latest edition of 32 Thoughts. “At the very least, the Capitals are looking into it.”
Washington is currently in a difficult stretch, dropping seven of their last 10 games. Though Vitek Vanecek has seemingly taken over the reins for now — and is starting to get in a rhythm — the Capitals have not seen him or Ilya Samsonov establish themselves as a clear No. 1. And with the team currently in a Wild Card spot and the veteran core aging, Washington needs consistency between the pipes, especially if they want to make a deep playoff run.
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Fleury has shown that he is still a capable starter and has withstood the tests of time. The 37-year-old won the Vezina last season, and through 29 games this season, he’s 13-13-3 with a .913 GAA and 2.76 GAA. He also has three Stanley Cup rings — all of which he claimed after leading the Penguins past Washington in the postseason. In 912 career games, Fleury has picked up 505 wins while boasting a .913 SV% and 2.55 GAA.
Per The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus, Chicago is eager to re-acquire the first-round pick they sent away for Seth Jones. And, with the Capitals struggling and wanting to go all-in, one has to wonder if Brian MacLellan will part ways with that, especially since the team has seen a number of promising prospects step up this season and show they can make a difference at the NHL level.
Then of course, comes the question of cap space. the Capitals currently have around $2.074 million and may have to clear some more space for No. 29. However, Vegas is still retaining salary, and with Anthony Mantha on the LTIR, the Capitals could make this work, especially if MacLellan can convince Kyle Davidson to retain some of Fleury’s pay.
It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out, but it would truly be something if Washington does see one of the ghosts from their past return to help them make another run for a title.