One of the trade rumors with the most traction surprisingly involves a team that is still in the playoffs, and arguably one of the biggest names on their roster, we're of course referring to the Pittsburgh Penguins Marc-Andre Fleury.
Fleury has been the subject of trade speculation ever since back up goaltender has stepped in to the role for the playoffs, and has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact Murray's performance has been so exceptional it led to comments like head coach Barry Trotz of the Washington Capitals referring to him as a franchise goaltender.
Obviously the speculation of a deal involving Fleury has picked up as the Penguins have continued to press through the postseason, but Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford was asked point blank this meant the end of Fleury in Pittsburgh and he issued a strong denial.
“Absolutely not,” said Rutherford as per Alby Oxenreiter.
However there is an extra mitigating factor here that Rutherford will have to consider, one you wouldn't normally see during your typical season, and according to Sportsnet reporter Chris Johnston, the expansion draft could force Rutherford's hand when it comes to trading Fleury.
An interesting aspect of the recent deal worked out by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association regarding expansion draft rules is that only players with a full no-movement clause will have to be protected by their team, according to a source.
Fleury’s contract includes a no-movement clause for the purposes of waivers or being assigned to the American Hockey League, but it is limited when it comes to trades. Each year he submits a 12-team list of teams where he can’t be dealt.
As a result, he’s not exempt from the expansion process and the Penguins would have to decide between protecting either him or Murray if both remained on the roster through the end of next season. It might ultimately force general manager Jim Rutherford into making up his mind sooner in order to trade one away and get a return on the asset.
This rumor isn't going anywhere.