Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is almost certain to enter the 2014-15 season without a new contract, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. Fleury's agent, Allan Walsh, is fine with the arrangement. Rutherford on Monday told the Tribune-Review that signing Fleury, who could become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2015, isn't on his immediate agenda. “I'm not in a hurry to do a contract with him,” Rutherford said. Walsh isn't offended by Rutherford's decision. “We're actually on the same page,” Walsh said. “It's of no consequence at all.” Former Penguins general manager Ray Shero signed Fleury to a seven-year, $35 million contract in July 2008. Fleury responded by carrying the Penguins to the Stanley Cup the next season but has since endured inconsistent patches that have turned him into a polarizing player. However, Fleury enjoyed perhaps the most consistent season of his career in the 2013-14 campaign, finishing second in the NHL in wins (39). Among goalies who played at least 40 games, Fleury produced the ninth-best goals-against average (2.37) and 16th-best save percentage (.915). “I think he's one of the most talented goalies in the league,” Rutherford said. Rutherford said he envisions Fleury as the team's long-term goaltender. “From my point of view, he's our goalie,” Rutherford said. “There's no reason why he can't be our goalie for a long time.” Many in the organization attribute Fleury's newfound consistency to goaltenders coach Mike Bales, who started working with Fleury on a full-time basis last season. The Penguins fired coach Dan Bylsma and assistants Tony Granato and Todd Reirden after last season, but retained Bales. Walsh said Fleury remains loyal to the Penguins and would like to work out a new contract before July 1.
Penguins goalie Fleury likely to enter season without new contract
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Aug 27