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NHL Trade Rumors: Recent reports about Marc-Andre Fleury aren't new

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Websites are spinning reports that the Penguins may buy out Marc-Andre Fleury this summer. Why they won't and what it really meant

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Score got some riled up with a pretty interesting headline.

But here's where they got this from, sourced as Bob McKenzie here:

McKenzie emphasizes that the Penguins’ top focus is a run at the Stanley Cup; if that means keeping Fleury and then figuring something out this summer, then so be it.

Important notes to actually take from McKenzie

  1. It appears the Penguins are comfortable right now keeping Marc-Andre Fleury AND Matt Murray for the duration of this season. That seems pretty smart, Murray's gotten dinged with a few injuries and MAF is a great insurance plan that might be needed. This is probably been the case all along this season, even if the team (and Fleury) have had some awkward moments with how the goalie rotation has gone. This might be the most important part of the report that the team isn't going to trade Fleury during the season (which isn't exactly unexpected).
  2. "Figuring something out" as McKenzie puts it, means trading Fleury after the season is over and before the expansion draft in June, which has long been expected
  3. Mentioning a buyout, which adds 4 years of dead cap space isn't going to be necessary, or be a feasible option, since they'll find a proper landing spot for Fleury and we can all (finally) move along.
  4. Merely insinuating that they would rather eat a buyout poison pill than lose Murray to the expansion draft is telling too. It shows that the team isn't going to go through some weird hurdle of trying to keep both goalies on the roster past this year, or entertain a Murray trade, but rather do the more logical thing by trying the guy who's a decade older and makes more money.

Granted, on top of everything else, even if McKenzie's the most well-sourced name in hockey news (which, he is), it's just one report. And today's January 13th. Factors could change before the trading deadline. Factors could change before summer.

Kudos to The Score for a catchy headline, but really as far as the Penguins goalie saga goes, nothing that McKenzie said is a departure from how this situation has been shaking up. Pittsburgh will likely trade Fleury after the season. It probably won't be for a very big return in assets coming back, but that's the trade-off the team is willing to accept in order to have the benefit of keeping two starting caliber goalies on the depth chart for the rest of the 2016-17 season.

Update: McKenzie (rightfully) unloads on The Score for how they portrayed his comments

So, bottom line, Bobby Mac says expansion draft isn't a concern for the Penguins and Fleury, so it shouldn't really be a concern for Penguins fans in the middle of another exciting season.