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Marc-André Fleury: don’t rule out the idea of him being traded by March 8

Even though Marc-André Fleury is now 39 years old, the goaltender is still going strong in the NHL. Currently a member of the Minnesota Wild organization, the Quebecer is in search of his 552nd career NHL victory, which would move him past Patrick Roy into second place in league history for regular-season wins.

Martin Brodeur, with 691 career wins, won’t be catching up, but it would be a great story for Fleury to move into sole possession of second place in league history.

The problem, though, is that Flower is on a team that’s taking a nosedive. The Wild (39 points) trail the Predators (47 points), Oilers (45 points), Kraken (45 points), Blues (43 points), Flames (43 points) and Coyotes (42 points) in the race for the two draft spots.

Only the Flames have played more games than the Wild, but we’re only talking about a one-game difference.

And with Fleury now 39, he might want another shot at the Stanley Cup, which might be hard to come by in Minnesota this year. And that’s what led Sportsnet’s Rory Boylen to wonder whether the goalie might not be traded by March 8.

The Wild have to deal with the $15M penalty for buying out Zach Parise and Ryan Suter’s contracts, so the club is approaching the salary cap. At $3.5 million a year, exchanging Fleury’s contract (which expires this year, remember) could give the Wild a little leeway.

And it would also allow Brandon Duhaime to get his clothes back on, I imagine.

That said, it’s worth remembering that Fleury has a no-movement clause, and one also wonders whether he wouldn’t prefer to end his career in Minnesota, a place he seems to love. What’s more, not all teams can afford to take $3.5 million (or $1.75 million if the Wild withhold 50% of his salary) off their payroll.

And let’s not forget that Flower is having a slightly more difficult season (3.16 goals-against average and 0.892 save percentage). If a team goes after him, it’s to be an insurance policy, not a true #1.

It’s a case to keep an eye on, but it’s not impossible that some teams will still be interested in Fleury if they want to trade him between now and March 8. And it wouldn’t help the Habs to trade Jake Allen, in any case…

In gossip

– Phillip Danault had something to do with it… but even since his departure, it hasn’t been easy for McDavid at the Bell Centre.

– I like to see it.

– Montreal loves Marie-Philip Poulin, proof #81849273.

– NFL schedule change forces Penguins to adjust.

– The file has been the talk of the town for a few days now.

– We’ll see if it pays off.

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