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Those wishing for at least one more Marc-Andre Fleury season beyond this one may be in luck.
Through La Presse, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner and likely future Hall of Fame netminder revealed that he would like to return for at least one more season.
"I decided that recently," Fleury, 37, said at Bell Centre on Tuesday according to Katherine Harvey Pinard and through Google Translate.
“I still like to play, I still have fun, the body still holds. Most of the time," he added. "But yes, another season and we will see after."
Fleury's agent shared Harvey Pinard's post on Twitter:
Some Marc-Andre Fleury news:
“I would like to play at least another season. I decided that recently…I still love to play, I still have fun, my body is still holding up most of the time (laughs)…so yes, another season and then we will see after.” https://t.co/zldabvc6Jo
— Allan Walsh (@walsha) April 19, 2022
Fleury was believed to be considering retirement after the Vegas Golden Knights decided at the end of last season that the former face of the franchise needed to be dealt in order to alleviate the cap constraints on management. However, he would decide to report to the Chicago Blackhawks before being dealt again ahead of the deadline to the Minnesota Wild.
In rotation with Cam Talbot, Fleury has been brilliant since arriving in Minnesota, winning six of seven starts and posting a .921 save percentage.
What's fascinating about Fleury's intention on prolonging his career is that he'll have the freedom he's in some ways lacked since his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fleury has been always been loyal to the teams with which he's belonged, and has twice stomached moves to inferior (or believed to be inferior) situations after being squeezed out by his internal competitions. With the exception of holding out for the Wild specifically, Fleury hasn't had full autonomy over his playing situation in some time.
Fleury is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, meaning he can spring for the best environment for both himself and his family. It will be very interesting to see which teams are involved and the market he finds himself in if he does indeed return for a 19th season in the NHL, and perhaps beyond.
And more specifically, would either the Penguins or Golden Knights revisit their once-great partnership?
The 2003 first-overall draft selection, Fleury has appeared in 935 regular season games and 162 in the postseason. He has three Stanley Cups (each with the Penguins) and five Stanley Cup Final appearances, and only Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy have more wins than Fleury's 517.
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