Does Marc-Andre Fleury make sense for the Maple Leafs?

Does Marc-Andre Fleury make sense for the Maple Leafs?

While the Toronto Maple Leafs are doing well as of late, there are still some question marks on whether they can even win the Stanley Cup with what they got this season. With how good both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference teams have been doing, the Leafs need to get better if they want to stay in the fight to even make it to the playoffs. How will they complete this, to-date, impossible task? One option could change the team’s future this season, and that could be Marc-Andre Fleury.

Is Fleury the Answer in Toronto?

According to TSN and The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, Fleury doesn’t want to go anywhere right now. He believes in the playoff chances of the Wild, who by the way, are on a bit of a run. So, he doesn’t want to bail on the Wild while they’re still in the race. But as they get closer to March 8, if it’s clear that the Wild are out of the playoff hunt Fleury could potentially look at two or three teams.

LeBrun added:

“Among those options, I’m told are the likes of the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, and the Maple Leafs. These may be obvious but, again, Fleury wants to stay loyal to the Wild if they can stay in the race.”

While Fleury is not having the greatest season in his career, it is important to think about the team he is playing in front of, which is the struggling Minnesota Wild. In 26 games played this season, Fleury has posted a record at 11-9-3 with a 2.87 GAA and a .900 save percentage, which beats Filip Gustavson’s numbers with a 15-13-2 record and a disappointing 3.27 goals against average and a .894 save percentage. While the records don’t matter on the surface, the other numbers don’t lie, the 39-year-old netminder has been doing his best to keep the puck out of the net for his team.

Context of the Maple Leafs

If we then look at the Leafs’ situation, it is not the greatest at all, at least not if they want to make a push for the Stanley Cup. They are currently third in the Atlantic Division with a 30-16-8 making up for 68 points. Meanwhile, Tampa and Detroit are following close behind — the Lightning having 65 points and the Red Wings having 64. The race for the playoffs and seeding is very important to the Leafs, as they would be facing the best of the teams in the Eastern Conference if they fall out into the wildcard spot, and with the inconsistency with their goalies, the Toronto Maple Leafs might need to change scenery and fix this very quickly.

Ilya Samsonov

While being sent down to the Marlies on New Year’s Eve 2023, since his return on January 14th against the Red Wings, he has been good for the Leafs. Posting a 7-2-0 record with a 2.11 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. While this comeback is working out for both the Leafs and the 26-year-old goalie, the question remains: can he perform in the playoffs? Plus, with the upcoming schedule ahead of him, there is no confirmation on if he could hold it down for the Leafs come playoff time.

Martin Jones

Before Samsonov’s leave from the Maple Leafs, he was the third-string goaltender for the club, but since Ilya got waived and with Joseph Woll injured for ‘an undisclosed period’, the 34-year-old goalie had to step up as the number one goalie for the Leafs. He played pretty well for his time there, posting a 10-7-1 with a 2.69 goals against average and a .908 save percentage. Despite the numerous games played in a row, it is unclear if Jones could step up again if Ilya goes down another train wreck, which is always possible for anyone to happen.

Could a Fleury Trade Work for the Maple Leafs?

If we look at this financially making a trade for a goaltender who is carrying a $3.5 million contract for one more year might be possible. Still, it could require another move.

Marc-Andre Fleury trade rumors

The first person that comes to mind is Samsonov. Although he is having a good stretch as of late, he is known for his inconsistency. On a one-year deal, he is carrying a $3.55 million contract. Toronto could try to trade send Samsonov back, then include a pick or two to sweeten the deal.

Maybe this might help both the Leafs and Fleury. He has always played well in front of good teams, and there is a good chance he could make a difference in the Leaf’s playoff hopes. This could be the Flower’s final chance at winning another Stanley Cup.

Next: Wild Likely to Approach Marc-Andre Fleury About Trade Potential

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