Marc-Andre Fleury Contract Extension with Wild Appears More Likely than Retirement

Marc-Andre Fleury : Minnesota Wild
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Marc-Andre Fleury, the 39-year-old goaltender for the Minnesota Wild, will turn 40 in November. Despite his age, it doesn’t appear the hall of famer is ready to hang up his pads just yet. In February, there had been early trade deadline speculation that “Flower” would want to be moved to a contender before the deadline, so he could continue his 17-season playoff streak and retire on a high note.

When the Wild caught fire post All-Star break, that trade steam died down, in part thanks to Fleury making it clear he would be staying in Minnesota as long as the Wild remained in the playoff hunt. But now, after losing three of their last four, general manager Bill Guerin may be on the verge of waving the white flag on this rather disastrous 2023-24 season.

Well, the Minnesota Wild have spoken loud and clear to president and general manager Bill Guerin: They are not a legit playoff contender.

Michael Russo and Joe Smith – The Athletic

Minnesota Wild more likely to extend Marc-Andre Fleury than trade him

Marc-Andre Fleury Minnesota Wild
Photo: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

But even if the Wild do officially become trade deadline sellers this week, according to Michael Russo and Joe Smith (The Athletic), it now seems much more likely that Guerin ends up extending his good friend’s expiring contract than it does he trades him. In fact, Billy has already told Flower he will not be dealt before Friday’s deadline.

You wouldn’t blame the future Hall of Famer if he changed his mind from a week ago, when he told The Athletic  he wanted to stay through the deadline, saying, “This is my team.” But we don’t see that happening. As The Athletic subsequently reported, Fleury and Guerin agreed that no matter what happened in the Wild’s four games before the deadline, Minnesota wasn’t going to move him. Fleury’s impressive streak of 17 consecutive seasons in the playoffs appears in jeopardy, which is a shame. But Fleury has earned the right to call the shots, and if he decides to continue playing and not retire this summer, there’s a world where the Wild look at re-signing him.

Michael Russo and Joe Smith – The Athletic

Fleury’s impressive 17 consecutive NHL playoff appearances started with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2003 to 2017. Then, he was dealt to the Vegas Golden Knights, where he spent 2017 to 2021, before going to the Chicago Blackhawks for parts of two seasons between 2021 and 2022.

Related: Wild’s Jake Middleton Uses Jeremy Lauzon’s Face as Punching Bag in Epic Beatdown

At the ’22 deadline, Fleury was traded to the Wild, where he’s now been for two full seasons. But being away from his family, even though they were just hours away in Chicago, weighed heavy on Flower and plays big into his decision this year.

Russo recently appeared on “Bumper to Bumper” with Dan Barreiro on KFAN Radio, where the Wild insider dove deeper into how likely it is that the HOF goalie returns to the Minnesota Wild for one more season (3:30 mark – Transcribed Below).

“You know we’ve started to sort of float out there — and you know know me, I don’t just make stuff up and throw stuff against the wall — I’m starting to get the impression that if Flower decides after the season that he’s not gonna retire — and I’m starting to get that sense that his future is still very much in hockey and and wanting to play — I think that Bill Guerin would consider bringing him back.”

“I don’t think that there are 100% convinced that [Jesper Wallstedt] is ready for the NHL; and if he’s not ready for the NHL, [Guerin] might wanna roll the dice with another Gus/Flower tandem next year, and then at some point bring up Wallstedt, and we’ll see what happens there. But I’m not convinced anymore that this is gonna be the end of the line of [Marc-Andre Fleury] and Minnesota. I think the fact [he doesn’t wanna be traded] and that Bill Guerin has agreed to it, according to our report, you know… I think that opens the door even further that he’s gonna come back next season”

Micheal Russo

The Wild have 20 games remaining in the regular season and they are currently trailing the Nashville Predators by 8 points for the final wild card spot. That’s a lot of ground to make up

WC1Los Angeles Kings6072
WC2Nashville Predators6272
3Calgary Flames6065
4St. Louis Blues6065
5Minnesota Wild6264

Should Marc-Andre Fleury continue with the Wild, as seems probable, his playoff streak will be on the line. Renowned as one of the greatest goaltenders to ever grace the ice, his decision to prolong his career in the state of hockey is intriguing. He loves us, he really loves us.

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