Wild ink Marc-Andre Fleury to two-year, $7M extension

Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury plays against the Nashville Predators in the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 5, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

The Minnesota Wild have signed goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to a two-year, $7 million extension.

The team made the official announcement Thursday evening moments before the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft got underway.

Fleury had been a pending unrestricted free agent.

The 37-year-old split the 2021-22 campaign between the Chicago Blackhawks and Wild, who acquired him in a March trade in the hopes of going on a lengthy playoff run.

Fleury went 9-2-0 with 2.74 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 11 regular-season games with Minnesota. He then went 2-3 with a 3.04 GAA and .906 save percentage in five playoff appearances before the Wild were eliminated by the Blues in the opening round.

Post-season disappointment aside, the 2021 Vezina Trophy winner enjoyed his time with the Wild enough to return.

“It was such a great time, loved the time (in Minnesota) and everything,” Fleury said at his end-of-season media availability. “Made it very appealing to play here. … I'm glad I came, I'm glad I got the opportunity to play with this team. Such a great locker room, great chemistry between the guys and the staff, coaches. … Even people around town, when I went to restaurants and stuff, everybody was very welcoming and nice. They love the game, they love their hockey here, so it was good to live this.”

Minnesota’s other netminder, Cam Talbot, is 35 and is entering the final year of his contract. Talbot’s salary cap hit is $3.667 million; Fleury’s is $3.5 million.

Wild general manager Bill Guerin and Fleury won a Stanley Cup together with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009 and Guerin also was a member of Pittsburgh’s front office when the two were still with that organization.

“One great thing is to have two veteran goaltenders,” Guerin told Sportsnet 590 back in March after obtaining Fleury. “Two guys I really believe are gonna work great together.”

Guerin also acquired the 19th overall pick in Thursday’s draft plus the signing rights to Brock Faber in exchange for Kevin Fiala in a notable trade last week.

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