Did Marc-Andre Fleury solve the Pittsburgh Penguins expansion draft problem? If you believe the unnamed sources from Murphys Law blog from Boston area writer Jimmy Murphy, he just may have.
Multiple NHL sources – one very close to the situation – have confirmed to Murphy’s Hockey Law that Fleury agreed to waive his modified no-movement and no-trade clauses for the June 21 NHL Expansion Draft well in advance of the 5 PM Monday deadline for all NHL teams to submit a list of players who have done the same with all such clauses.
He would continue:
According to one source, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford approached Fleury leading into the March 1 NHL Trade Deadline about waiving and the longtime Penguin netminder agreed on an unnamed team and if that failed, to do it for the expansion draft because he understood now two-time Stanley Cup winning goalie Matt Murray was the future between the Pens’ pipes
UPDATE: another report as well
Marc-André Fleury accepted the Penguins request in February to waive his no move clause for the expansion draft. Only for Las Vegas.— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 12, 2017
Every player with a no-move clause can be asked by his team to waive his clause for the expansion draft. So Marc-André Fleury agreed.— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 12, 2017
Obviously an unsourced internet report is just that and must be taken with a grain of salt for now until more reputable sources confirm or shed more light on things. That might not happen, being as the team is about 12 hours off winning a Stanley Cup and obviously enjoying the hard work and success of Marc-Andre Fleury and his teammates.
However, life comes at you fast and so too will this off-season. Here's a schedule of events to learn and know now that all the games are done:
Today: list of veterans agreeing to waive NMCs are due. Any player with a NMC who doesn't waive must be protected by his current NHL team. For the Pens- Fleury, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel and Kris Letang are in this boat. Other than MAF, there's obviously zero drama and the team will happily be keeping these core, star players.
Thursday, June 15 First Buy-Out Period begins.
Deadline for Clubs to ask Players with "No Move" clauses whether they want to be placed on Waivers for purposes of Buy-Outs prior to Expansion Draft (11:59 am ET).
Friday, June 16 Last day to place Player on Waivers prior to Expansion Draft Trade/Waiver Freeze (12 p.m. ET).
Deadline for Players to agree to "waive" their "No Move" clauses for purposes of Expansion Draft (5 p.m. ET).
Saturday, June 17 Commencement of the Expansion Draft Trade/Waiver Freeze for all NHL Clubs with exception of the Expansion Club (3 p.m. ET).
Commencement of Expansion Draft Signing Moratorium on NHL SPCs for all NHL Clubs with exception of the Expansion Club (3 p.m. ET).
Deadline for each Club to simultaneously submit its Protection List to Central Registry and the NHLPA (5 p.m. ET).
Sunday, June 18 Deadline for Central Registry to approve and simultaneously distribute the Protection Lists to all NHL Clubs (including the Expansion Club) and the NHLPA (10 a.m. ET).
Opening of the UFA/RFA Interview Period (only applies to Players who are available for selection in the Expansion Draft) for the Expansion Club only (10 a.m. ET).
Wednesday, June 21 Deadline for the Expansion Club to simultaneously submit its Expansion Draft Selections to Central Registry and the NHLPA (10 a.m. ET).
Deadline for the Expansion Club to submit SPCs for any pending UFA/RFAs who are selected by the Expansion Club and signed to a new contract (10 a.m. ET). The Expansion Club is permitted to sign a current or pending Free Agent on a Current Club’s list of Available Players during the period between 10:01 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 18, and 9:59 a.m. ET on Wednesday, June 21, and in so doing will be deemed to have made its Expansion Draft selection from such Current Club. If the Expansion Club signs a Restricted Free Agent from the Available List of a Current Club during said period, the Current Club will not be entitled to any compensation from the Expansion Club.
Official distribution and announcement of the Expansion Club’s Selections in conjunction with the 2017 NHL Awards presented by T-Mobile (8 p.m. ET).
Thursday June, 22 Expansion Draft Signing Moratorium and Trade/Waiver Freeze are lifted (8 a.m. ET).
If Fleury did agree to waive his NMC, that is a very selfless move for him that benefits the team. It leaves himself out there and dismisses the possibility that the Penguins would have to buy him out in order to get him off the roster to be able to protect Murray.
And, barring any leaks or breaking news, no fans will know who is going to Las Vegas until next Wednesday night, and likely the players and teams won't really know that much sooner either. At least the lists will be out this Sunday so that we can debate and brace ourselves for which players are on the chopping block.
Fleury, it is believed, has interest from Vegas, but Pittsburgh is a deep team and will have to expose some reasonably useful NHL players, so it's no surety that the new team would take MAF, though you would have to believe he would be the most attractive asset to add from Pittsburgh.