In a move that was not a certainty when the season ended, the Minnesota Wild re-signed veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, known around the league as Flower. Fleury inked a two-year, $7 million deal with a no-movement clause. He was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.

This reunites Flower with long-time Wild goalie Cam Talbot to form one of the top net-minding tandems in the league. Fleury joined the Wild last March in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago was sent a second-round pick in the 2022 Draft in exchange for Fleury.

The Flower is a Winner

Flower has a record of 520-299-85 for his career which ranks him third on the all-time NHL list in wins for a goaltender. Fleury has also been a member of three Stanley Cup-winning teams, all with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Vezina Trophy, awarded to the best goalie in the NHL, also has his name emblazoned upon it. He was awarded this for his outstanding play for the Vegas Golden Knights during the 2020-21 season.

After his signing, Fleury said, “I like the team. I like the guys in the locker room. We can still win some games.” Flower posted a .908 save percentage in 56 regular-season games for Chicago and Minnesota. In the playoffs, Fleury went 2-3 with a 3.04 goals-against-average as the Minnesota Wild lost to the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

Minnesota Wild Have a Successful Goalie Tandem

While the two complimented each other well down the stretch in the regular season, there was some friction in the playoffs. Instead of staying with the goaltending rotation that had worked so well in the regular season, coach Dean Evason made a change. Evason named Fleury the starter in the first five games of the series. Talbot only replaced Flower in Game 6 which turned out to be the series clincher for the Blues.

And while Talbot was a complete professional during the entire ordeal, there were still hurt feelings. Talbot’s agent, George Bazos, has made it clear to Minnesota Wild GM, Bill Guerin, that his client was still unhappy about his lack of playing time in the playoff series against the Blues. And while there has been no trade demand from the Talbot camp, this is definitely a situation worth watching.

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Greg Simbeck

Freelance writer who loves telling an informative, creative, and compelling story. I am open to write about anything, but my emphasis is on sports in the Midwest. I look forward to telling you a good story and receiving your comments.

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