Marc-Andre Fleury Extended Four Years, Rutherford’s Mistake


Marc-Andre Fleury is one of the most polarizing goaltenders in the National Hockey League today. Fleury is known for backstopping the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ most recent Stanley Cup victory and having unparalleled success in the regular season.

Marc-Andre Fleury was in the final year of his contract until today. It was announced by the Pittsburgh Penguins that Marc-Andre Fleury has signed a four year/$23 million extension. That puts his new contract at an annual average value of $5.75 million and runs through the 2018-2019 season.

Up until now I had loved the progress the new GM, Jim Rutherford, made with the Penguins. But this signing baffles my mind.

Marc-Andre Fleury is well known for having success in the regular season and right now he is on a tear. In his last three games, Fleury has won all three, had two shutouts, a .959 save percentage and allowed an average of one goal per game.

Now, early in the season, after one hot streak Rutherford signs “the flower” to a contract extension.

It does not make sense, Rutherford has publicly stated he does not plan on being with the Penguins for more than a year or two. Why potentially handicap the next GM who will follow up?

One hot streak by Fleury does not prove that he has left his mental inconsistencies behind him. In addition, throughout Marc-Andre Fleury’s impressive career there have been many streaks like this. This small showing of consistency is not enough to merit an extension.

May 13, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) makes a save against New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi (5) during the second period in game seven of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Marc-Andre Fleury’s main problem has been the sloppy play during the postseason. Last postseason was an improvement but many (including myself) still think Fleury could be holding the Penguins back from winning the Stanley Cup year after year.

Frankly, the Pittsburgh Penguins have had one of, if not the most, talented rosters in the league for years now and they have one Stanley Cup to show for it. Former head coach Dan Bylsma was a big part of the lack of success, but Marc-Andre Fleury did nothing to aid the team during postseasons.

Do I think that Marc-Andre Fleury is capable of leading the Penguins to the Stanley Cup this season? Yes he is capable, but the question is will he? Fleury is able to make an eye-popping save and then let an easy shot land behind him.

Personally, I would have waited until after this postseason to extend Fleury. Rutherford should have kept the pressure of being in a contract year on “the flower” until after the postseason to see whether he has bested his playoff demons.

I could (and hope to be) proved wrong in the upcoming years, but presently the extension makes no sense. Especially after Rutherford’s push during free agency to keep contracts to one or two years.