Marc-Andre Fleury To Likely Start Campaign Minus New Extension

Pittsburgh Penguins’ goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had a bounce-back 2013-14 campaign.

Although Fleury had his moments – as he always manages to have somehow, someway – for the most part, he improved drastically. Especially in the postseason, from two consecutive atrocious playoff performances.

However, Fleury is due to become an unrestricted free agent after this next season, and there’s a question as to if the team will reward him with a new deal past 2014-15.

According to Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, general manager Jim Rutherford doesn’t have Fleury’s extension ready, or is planning on working one out in the near future, meaning Fleury will likely begin the season without one.

Right now, Pittsburgh has under $1 million in cap space – per Cap Geek – and so any extension at this present time wouldn’t work out anyways.

Here’s what Rutherford had to say, per Yohe:

“From my point of view, he’s our goalie. There’s no reason why he can’t be our goalie for a long time.”

Yet, the idea Fleury’s talks will be tabled till later is interesting.

For one, if history suggests anything, it’s that players tend to perform above and beyond their normal selfs in a contract year. Should Fleury put up uncharted numbers, and be a staple in helping Pittsburgh raise the Cup again, I’m not so sure it’ll be so effortless to re-sign him when the time calls for it.

And two, if Fleury is a marquee player in the Pens’ potential Cup championship, should they extend his contract? There will be multiple players hitting the market next summer, and rostered players on the verge of their contract expiring. Pittsburgh will need money to keep Olli Maatta, and eventually, if Beau Bennett comes to life, him as well.

So, there’s a lot more that’s factored into this situation than one may think. And, there’s a chance that this is Fleury’s last season with Pittsburgh.

Too early to speculate, but we’ll see how it plays out.