The trade that sent Marc-André Fleury from the Golden Knights to the Blackhawks stunned the hockey world — including Fleury himself.
The beloved face of the Vegas franchise didn’t even get a heads-up from the Knights, instead finding out about the trade Tuesday via Twitter.
??A source close to Fleury described him as “totally shocked.” Another source said Fleury “doesn’t want to play there,” though stressing that the sentiment had nothing to do with the Blackhawks organization but rather Fleury not wanting to uproot his family for an unfamiliar locale.
The source added that though Fleury has long suspected Vegas upper management — and especially coach Peter DeBoer — did not view him as “their guy,” Fleury was confident he would at least finish out his current contract with the Golden Knights.
One reason for Fleury’s confidence, the first source said, was that he won the Vezina Trophy this past season.
Another, both sources said, stemmed from a conversation Fleury had with Vegas owner Bill Foley. That conversation occurred after Foley blocked a proposed trade between the Golden Knights and Penguins that would have reunited Fleury with his original franchise.
Those closest to Fleury have said he and his wife hoped Fleury would finish his career with the Golden Knights. The Fleury family has taken to life in suburban Vegas and did not want to uproot their three children.
However, if an endgame with Vegas was not in the cards, Fleury has long eyed a return to Pittsburgh, where his legend has only seemed to grow since the Penguins allowed him to depart after their 2017 Stanley Cup victory.