Rumors surfaced last week suggesting the Calgary Flames had reached out to the Pittsburgh Penguins to inquire about the availability of veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, now a report is claiming those talks took place, and an asking price has been set.
According to the Calgary Sun's Eric Francis Penguins' general manager Jim Rutherford has set the price extremely high, asking for the Flames first round pick in the draft in return for Fleury.
The Calgary Sun has learned Rutherford is asking for the Flames’ first round draft pick for Fleury — yes, the sixth pick overall at Friday’s NHL Entry Draft in Buffalo.
It seems highly unlikely that the Flames would agree to the terms of this deal. While Fleury has shown no signs of decline, and is in fact coming off a terrific season outside of his late season injury issues, is a proven commodity and comes at a reasonable cap hit of $5.75 million per season, but he is aging, has a history of concussions, and is just one of several options out there.
The Flames could choose to target Tampa Bay's Ben Bishop, St.Louis' Brian Elliott, Detroit's Jimmy Howard or even take a gamble on a free agent like James Reimer. While Howard and Reimer are certainly riskier options for the Flames, they would not be forced to give up #7 in the draft for either player, and that fact alone could be enough motivation to avoid the Fleury option. Bishop could come with a similar price tag, while Elliott would likely come a little cheaper.
That's not to say this deal doesn't get done, like it or not, moving Fleury's cap hit off the books is a good move for the Penguins, especially with Matt Murray set to earn a new contract by the end of next season and the Flames are desperate for solid goaltending and Fleury is among the most reliable options available.