It's been out there for a long time, but now it's finally come to pass- the Vegas Golden Knights have selected Marc-Andre Fleury as their choice from the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2017 expansion draft.
Fleury famously waived his no-movement clause to be included in this draft, so that the Pens could protect goalie Matt Murray. Fleury (and his $5.75 million cap) hit now leave Pittsburgh and go to Vegas.
However in order to ensure Vegas would take Fleury and his salary, Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford had to include a draft pick to seal the deal. It could be seen as controversial for some fans, but Vegas was holding all the leverage. If they didn't take Fleury, not too many other NHL teams need a starter and have the salary cap space and salary structure to take MAF. Just cost of doing business in this situation, really.
That pick ended up being a 2nd round pick in 2020 to complete the transaction. That's a long way away and won't help the Penguins in their current championship window. 2nd round picks also statistically aren't all that likely to be NHL players. The Pens retained their first rounder in 2017, so all in all Pittsburgh is fortunate to retain their 2017 first round pick and move forward.
But, draft pick aside, the main story is obviously the loss of Fleury. Fleury, ironically was drafted 14 years ago to the day today from Pittsburgh. When he came in, the team was at their lowest as one of the worst in the league. All he did was toss up 375 wins (3rd most in the league since he was drafted) and help Pittsburgh along to 3 Stanley Cup titles. There were highs, there were lows, but now the ride is over.
At least Fleury will have a lot of familiar faces in Vegas. Former Penguins players Deryk Engelland, James Neal and David Perron were also selected by Vegas tonight. Some may be traded (it's rumored Neal will be) but hopefully Fleury will see a few old friends out there as he starts his new chapter.
Endings though are never fun. Fare well and good luck, Marc-Andre, all of Pittsburgh will miss you!