The Maple Leafs should keep Marc-Andre Fleury on their trade radar

Photo credit:Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
2 months ago
The Maple Leafs goaltending situation this season has been allergic to stability and while likely Stanley Cup Playoff starter Joseph Woll is expected back within the next week to 10 days, Leafs GM Brad Treliving should have his eye on the trade market for an inexpensive security blanket and be zoned in on Marc-Andre Fleury of the Minnesota Wild.
First things first, Fleury has made it known to management if the Wild are in the playoff race, he wants to stay and he won’t waive his no-movement clause. However, if they can’t keep up in the west, he’s given Wild GM Bill Guerin a list of a few teams he’d be open to joining, and yes, the Maple Leafs appear to have made the approved list. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun recently commented on Fleury’s future and had this to say:
Marc-Andre Fleury had a four-hour meeting with his agent Allan Walsh this week where they went over March 8th and what could happen. He believes in the playoff chances of the Minnesota Wild, who, by the way, are on a bit of a run. And so, he does not want to bail on the wild if they’re still in the race. But as they get closer to March 8th, if Minnesota does fall out of it, and it’s clear that they’re out of it,  Fleury could potentially look at two or three teams and among those options, I’m told, are the likes of Carolina, the likes of Toronto, and the likes of Colorado.
Entering action on Saturday, the Wild are five points back of the St Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings for the wildcard spots, and they do have the Kraken and Predators they would need to leapfrog, along with the Flames to fend off, who like the Wild, have 55 points. The decision of being dealt is going to come down to the wire for Fleury and Guerin and if the Flower goes to market, Treliving needs to at least get a sense of what Guerin is after for the future hall-of-famer.

Treliving Doesn’t Have to Overpay

Ilya Samsonov has won six of his last seven starts and appears to have reset himself nicely after a week off and working with several team resources. His last start against the Philadelphia Flyers, he did look a bit slow to get to his feet numerous times and it’s hard to say if he’s dealing with any injuries. Given the Leafs incapability to stay healthy in net, it’s another reason why Treliving should be considering Fleury, who wouldn’t necessarily come in and push Woll out of the starter’s net, but why not let him try?
Woll’s ankle sprain was very serious and has kept him out of the lineup since Dec. 7 and it’s hard to say exactly how he’s going to perform once he’s given a leash. Early on, expect to see the Leafs ease him into game action as they have to be careful and assured he’s 100% healthy and stronger than ever.
Yes, Jones has been decent this season but there’s certainly been times he’s looked like a free-agent goaltender who didn’t sign with a team until the second week of August. Very ordinary indeed and especially lately. Jones has only won once in his last five starts and there’s been a couple of stinkers that have left quite the odor in the crease.
With Treliving having Samsonov returning to form and with Jones, a long-shot option as the #3, he doesn’t need to get into a bidding war or overpay to acquire Fleury. If the Hurricanes and Avalanche want him that badly, they can take him. The Maple Leafs should just be making sure to understand the asking price, consider it, and now monitor their own crease these next three weeks to ensure they are set up accordingly for the playoffs. Adding Fleury to the dressing room for the stretch run could go a long way as he’s one of the best personalities in hockey and one of the nicest human beings on the planet. Who also loves to play pranks any chance he can.
As far as the asking price goes, Guerin doesn’t have much for leverage. If Fleury wants to be dealt, he has no choice and if there’s only three teams on the approved list, it’s tough to work a hard bargain. Something along the lines of a third or fourth-round pick, or a later pick and mid-level prospect should be able to seal the deal.
Fleury’s been hot lately, he’s won his last three starts and in his last five appearances, has posted a 1.36 GAA. He’s cooking at the right time and if it continues, he will control his own destiny, and remain in the crease for the Wild as they look to sneak in the back door of the playoffs. But, if Minnesota isn’t able to make up ground on the teams they’re chasing these next few weeks, Treliving should be in constant contact with Guerin and at least make an offer.
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