The time for speculation is over in Pittsburgh. The Penguins have officially re-signed goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to a four-year, $23 million extension on his current contract, meaning that the man between the pipes will stay put.
The subject of much media scrutiny the past few seasons for very bad playoff meltdowns and disappearances, Fleury entered this season, the last of his current contract, as the subject of much speculation based on the management change in the off-season. While he was a mainstay for former General Manager Ray Shero’s plan to bring another Stanley Cup to Pittsburgh, the fact that he wasn’t signed to a new contract in the off-season by new GM Jim Rutherford was a source of concern, and it left many fans wondering if the Flower had seen his time as a Penguin run out.
As per TSN, Marc-Andre Fleury’s new contract will see him stay put until 2019; it also contains a no-movement clause, and a limited trade clause, costing the Penguins $5.75 million annually.
The 29-year-old native of Sorel-Tracy, Quebec began his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2003 after being selected first overall in the 2003 Entry Draft. Without counting this season’s totals, Fleury has amassed a 288-169-2-39 (W-L-T-OTL) record in the regular season, with 23 shutouts, a GAA of 2.66 and a save percentage of .910, and despite having magnificently disappeared between the pipes in the playoffs since 2009, boasts a career playoff record of 52-40, with 8 shutouts, a GAA of 2.68 and a save percentage of .905 with one Stanley Cup ring.
Fleury is the all-time franchise leader in regular season games, wins, and shutouts, as well as playoff shutouts, and trails Penguins great Tom Barrasso in playoff wins by just four (though is the current leader among active goalies).
The contract extension could be seen as a reflection of Fleury’s recent play, having won 7 of his 9 starts this season, with a recent form that has seen him post 3 shutouts in 4 starts with two consecutive shutouts coming against defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings and the lowly Buffalo Sabres.
As a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins, having “the Flower” locked down is absolutely key to the Penguins’ long-term success. Despite his playoff struggles, Fleury has been improving in between the pipes in games that really matter. With the loss of backup Tomas Vokoun, the entire organization’s goaltending duties in the post-season fall to the Flower, who has been lasting one playoff round longer each year, though the change in coaching might help him overcome the playoff jitters that have held the Penguins back since winning the Stanley Cup in 2009.
Fleury and the Penguins next take on the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, November 9th at 8 P.M. Eastern time, as Fleury tries to continue his shutout streak.