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Reports: Wild acquire G Marc Andre-Fleury from Blackhawks

Sportsnaut
Mar 20, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) makes a save during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild acquired Marc-Andre Fleury — the third-winningest goaltender in NHL history — on Monday, sending a conditional draft pick to the Chicago Blackhawks, multiple outlets reported.

The Athletic said the draft pick is a second-rounder that could become a first-round pick if the Wild reach the Western Conference finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs this season and Fleury is the winning goalie in at least four games to that point.

In a separate move, the Wild also moved goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen and a fifth-round pick to the San Jose Sharks for defenseman Jacob Middleton, The Athletic reported.

Cam Talbot has been the primary goalie for the Wild this season.

Trade rumors have swirled around Fleury for weeks as the Blackhawks have stumbled to a 22-32-9 (53 points) mark and are well out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference.

The Wild, however, are 38-20-4 (76 points) and in playoff contention and can use Fleury — the reigning Vezina and Jennings Trophy winner — for the stretch run and beyond.

Fleury, 37, was selected by Pittsburgh with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NHL Draft, and he went on to win three Stanley Cups with the Penguins.

The Vegas Golden Knights selected him in the 2017 expansion draft, and he had what at that time was a career-low 2.24 goals-against average and a career-high .927 save percentage. Vegas became the first expansion team since the St. Louis Blues in 1967-68 to reach the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Washington Capitals in five games.

Despite a 2020-21 season in which he posted a 26-10-0 record with a 1.98 GAA and 9.28 save percentage, Fleury was dealt to the Blackhawks last July 27 for center Mikael Hakkarainen.

In his lone season in Chicago, Fleury had a 19-21-5 mark in 45 games, with a 2.95 GAA and .908 save percentage.

In his career, Fleury has a record of 511-297-87, a 2.57 GAA and .913 save percentage.

Fleury addressed the trade rumors last month.

“If I move, I would love a chance to win,” he told reporters on Feb. 16. “That’s what I play for, and that’s what I love.”

Kahkonen, 25, was 12-8-3 with a 2.87 GAA and .910 save percentage for the Wild this season.

Middleton, 26, has nine points (three goals, six assists) and 69 penalty minutes in 45 games for the Sharks this season. He has a team-best +3 plus-minus rating.

–Field Level Media