Blackhawks acquire Vezina Trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 22: Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Vegas Golden Knights turns the puck aside against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Semifinals of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena on June 22, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) –The Chicago Blackhawks today have acquired the reigning Vezina Trophy winner and three-time Stanley Cup champion Marc-Andre Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for forward Mikael Hakkarainen.

Fleury posted a career-best 1.98 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage during the 2020-21 season with Vegas and picked up his first career Vezina Trophy, awarded to the best goaltender in the National Hockey League each year. Fleury’s contract has a salary cap hit of $7,000,000 for the 2021-22 season.

“The opportunity to acquire a Vezina-winning goaltender is rare and one you cannot pass up,” said Blackhawks President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Stan Bowman. “Marc-Andre improves our goaltending, strengthens our team defense and will have a huge impact on the overall development of the Blackhawks. Having a goaltender like this on our team will put the talent we currently have on our roster in a better position to achieve sustained success. The entire organization is thrilled to have this future Hall of Famer on our team and his reputation of being an excellent teammate on and off the ice precedes him.”

His 26 wins and six shutouts each ranked third in the league last season. Along with teammate Robin Lehner, they won the William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltenders on the team that allowed the fewest goals during the regular season. Fleury yielded two or fewer goals in 25 of his 36 outings (69.4%). He finished the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 2.04 GAA
Fleury is the NHL’s active leader in career regular season (492) and Stanley Cup Playoff wins (90) as well as regular-season games played (883) and postseason appearances (162). His 492 regular season wins is third most in NHL history while his 90 playoff victories rank fourth.
Spanning 17 seasons in the National Hockey League (2003-2017 with PIT and 2017-2021 with VGK), Fleury owns a record of 492-276-2-80 with a 2.55 GAA, .913 SV% and 67 shutouts in 883 regular-season appearances. The 67 shutouts rank 14th on the NHL’s all-time shutout list.

Fleury has 90 career postseason victories, a 2.53 GAA, .912 SV% and 16 shutouts in 162 playoff appearances. His 492 wins are third and his .913 SV% shares 13th all-time among NHL goalies.

Fleury, 36, was selected by Vegas in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. In his debut season with the Golden Knights, he had, at the time, the best statistical season of his NHL career with a 2.24 GAA and .927 SV%. Fleury went 12-3 in the first three rounds of that season’s playoffs, helping Vegas become the first expansion team since the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues to advance to the Cup Final.

A five-time NHL All Star, Fleury left the Penguins holding the franchise record for both regular-season (375) and playoff (62) wins. He is the only Pittsburgh netminder to win 40 regular-season games on two occasions. His 10 shutouts during the 2014-15 campaign with the Penguins were a single-season personal and franchise record. That total also led the league. The Sorel, Quebec native picked up his first career shutout against the Blackhawks on Oct. 30, 2003.

When Fleury was selected by Pittsburgh with the first overall pick in the 2003 NHL Draft, he became the third goalie to be chosen first, joining Michel Plasse (Montreal Canadiens, 1968) and Rick DiPietro (New York Islanders, 2000).

Hakkarainen played in 14 games for the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League across two seasons.

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