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Capitals Trade Rumblings

Friedman Says Fleury’s No-Trade List ‘Irrelevant’; What Does It Mean For Capitals?

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Could the Capitals be interested in Marc-Andre Fleury?

When it comes to Marc-Andre Fleury’s next destination, it appears that the Washington Capitals may not completely be out of the running after all.

Speculation and the rumor mill indicated that Fleury may not want a trade to the Capitals given his history with the rival Pittsburgh Penguins. However, Sportsnet Elliotte Friedman said in his latest 32 Thoughts that his no-trade list may be “irrelevant” and he’d accept a trade if he believes he can win.

“Fleury has a 10-team no-trade list, but that is irrelevant. I don’t think who is on his list or who isn’t on his last is going to matter here,” Friedman said. “I think it’s going to come down to… if Marc-Andre Fleury feels he has a chance to win and the team can make a deal with the Blackhawks, I think it’s purely going to be that decision. Does he feel that he has a chance to win wherever he goes?”

Friedman had said on Wednesday that it’s not impossible that the Capitals could still try and pursue Fleury, and that the team has been interested in him for a bit now.

Right now, Fleury’s Blackhawks are second to last in the Central Division and 15 points out of Wild Card position with a 22-30-8 record. Through 42 outings, the 2021 Vezina winner is 18-20-4 with a .908 save percentage and 2.92 GAA.

Meanwhile, the Capitals have rebounded following a tough two-month stretch that saw them trade wins and losses. Washington is 4-0-1 in its last five games and has an overall record of 32-18-10 (74 points). The team is in the second Wild Card spot but only three points behind Boston for the first spot. Also, the Capitals are comfortably in playoff position.

READ MORE ON WHN: Takeaways From The Capitals’ OT Win Over Vancouver

When it comes to Washington’s goalie situation, the team has seen Vanecek climb the NHL leaderboards as one of the league’s top netminders of late. He is 14-7-5 with a 2.35 GAA and .918 SV% through 29 outings. At 5-on-5, he ranks fourth among all netminders with at least 15 full games played. Meanwhile, Samsonov has struggled and is 17-9-4 with a 2.96 GAA and .901 SV% in 33 appearances.

Washington has reportedly shown interest in acquiring Fleury as the team has seen Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek share the crease, with Vanecek recently taking the reins and putting on a show between the pipes. However, with the team seeing inconsistency this season, general manager Brian MacLellan said that the team would have to see a “serious upgrade” in net to make a deal for a goalie at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline. Per The Athletic‘s Tarik El-Bashir, No. 29 would qualify as just that.

Right now, the Capitals have rebounded following a tough two-month stretch that saw them trade wins and losses. Washington is 4-0-1 in its last five games and has seen Vanecek climb the NHL leaderboards as one of the league’s top netminders. He is 14-7-5 with a 2.35 GAA and .918 SV% through 29 outings. At 5-on-5, he ranks fourth among all netminders with at least 15 full games played. Meanwhile, Samsonov has struggled and is 17-9-4 with a 2.96 GAA and .901 SV% in 33 appearances.

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