As the National Hockey League personnel switcheroo continues, Chicago Blackhawks acquired this season's best goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.
As a part of the deal, Vegas received forward starlet Mikael Hakkarainen.
Winning the Vezina Trophy in NHL this year, Fleury went 26-10-0 with an average of 1.98 goals-against, .928 save percentage and six shutouts in 36 games.
The 36-year-old went 9-7 with a 2.04 GAA in 16 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to help the Golden Knights reach the NHL Semifinals, where they lost to the Montreal Canadiens in six games.
"The opportunity to acquire a Vezina-winning goaltender is rare and one you cannot pass up," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said, according to reports on NHL.com.
"Marc-Andre improves our goaltending, strengthens our team defense and will have a huge impact on the overall development of the Blackhawks. Having a goaltender like this on our team will put the talent we currently have on our roster in a better position to achieve sustained success. The entire organization is thrilled to have this future Hall of Famer on our team and his reputation of being an excellent teammate on and off the ice precedes him."
In July 2018, Fleury signed a three-year contract with a $21 million extension. After the last season ended, he hoped to remain in Vegas.
"I haven't given much thought to the future, but it's always been in my heart to stick around and finish up here," Fleury said.
Meanwhile, Fleury's agent, Allan Walsh, said Tuesday that the goalie, who ranks third in NHL history in wins (492), could be considering retirement.
"While Marc-Andre Fleury still hasn't heard from anybody with the Vegas Golden Knights, he has apparently been traded to Chicago," Walsh tweeted. "Marc-Andre will be taking time to discuss his situation with his family and seriously evaluate his hockey future at this time."
Fleury has one season remaining on a three-year, $21 million contract extension ($7 million annual average value) he signed July 13, 2018, and said after the season ended
With Fleury gone, Robin Lehner, who was acquired in a trade with the Blackhawks on February 24, 2020, will get an automatic pump as the first choice goalie.
He was 13-4-2 with a 2.29 GAA and .913 she percentage in 19 games, and started three playoff games (1-2, 3.62 GAA, .887 save percentage).
The duo of Fleury and Lehner won the William M. Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals in the NHL this season; Vegas allowed an NHL-low 124.
"Our relationship grew over the season," Fleury said. "We got along very good. As goalies, that's something you strive for is winning games, but also not giving up too much. I think both of us, we accomplished that this year."