It’s not clear how they’re going to do it when you factor in their salary cap situation and that they already have a starting goaltender, but the Minnesota Wild apparently have an interest in extending goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury at the end of this season. The pending UFA came over to the Wild from the Chicago Blackhawks as a playoff rental, but the Wild would like to make him more than that.
According to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, the goaltending market should be an interesting one this offseason. There are a handful of pending UFAs who might be available and Fleury would have been among the most notable. While Ville Husso will get some attention out of St. Louis and Jack Campbell will be coveted out of Toronto, Fleury is easily the most proven name on the market. LeBrun writes that he’ll get to choose pretty much any destination he’d like regardless of how the market shapes out and some speculation is that he might have it down to two or three teams.
It’s not clear if the Wild are among them — one would assume they would be since he chose to waive his no-trade clause to join the team this season — and it might be about comfort and not winning a Stanley Cup or the money.
According to sources, Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin would like to keep Fleury around somehow despite their tricky salary cap situation and the fact that Cam Talbot (who has been terrific again of late) has one more year on his deal next season at a $3.66-million AAV.
LeBrun adds that there haven’t been any conversations about an extension and says, “So, we’ll see where that goes this summer.”
What About the Salary Cap?
The problem for the Wild is the cap space that will be chewed up by the buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter (just over $12.6 million) next season, with it jumping higher after that. So too, the Wild would like to find a way to either trade Kevin Fiala for something good or re-sign the pending RFA.
Even if Fleury takes a discount to stick around, it won’t be easy to fit him in and the team will have to decide who is the starter if both Talbot and Fleury are with the franchise all of next season.
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