Today makes exactly one month until the NHL's March 8th trade deadline.
One of the biggest names expected to be on the move between now and the deadline is veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury of the Minnesota Wild. The Wild have underperformed this season and Fleury is a pending unrestricted free agent who can leave the team this upcoming offseason as a free agent.
It remains to be seen what happens with Fleury long-term, but NHL insider Elliotte Friedman seems to think that in the short term he believe Fleury will be seeking at least one last playoff run Spring/Summer.
Fleury will generate trade interest league-wide, but because he has a no-trade clause it'll be up to him to ultimately decided where he ends up. Specifically though, Friedman highlights the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers as the most likely trade destinations, but also mentions that at least two of those teams have issues that could prevent a perfect fit.
From Friedman's most recent 32 Thoughts column for Sportsnet:
20. When it comes to goalies, Marc-Andre Fleury will have the biggest impact. He’s earned the right to call his shot; nothing happens without his approval. Fleury initially was unhappy to move from Vegas to Chicago, and needed convincing to go to Minnesota. But the guy eats, breathes and loves hockey, so he adapts upon arrival. This screams Carolina, Colorado or Edmonton, all playoff-bound. But, in some of those situations, he wouldn’t be the starter, so that factors in. Again, it’s his call, and deservedly so.
- Elliotte Friedman
If I were a betting man, I'd put my bets on Carolina. The Avalanche seem to have found some stability with Alexandar Georgiev and, like Friedman points out, Fleury would be headed there on a backup role assignment. The same could probably be said for Edmonton given Stuart Skinner's play lately, but the #1 job is always up for grabs in Northern Alberta.
To me though, the Hurricanes make a lot of sense. Fleury would instantly become the team's uncontested starting goaltender and he'd help solidify their roster as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender in the Eastern conference. Stay tuned.