- The Washington Times
Wednesday, January 26, 2022

One of the most inconsistent parts of the Capitals this season has been the team’s goaltending.

That could change with the NHL trade deadline approaching, as the Capitals are reportedly interested in acquiring Chicago’s Marc-Andre Fleury — a three-time Stanley Cup champion and one of the league’s top goaltenders.

According to NHL insider and Sportsnet reporter Elliotte Friedman, the Capitals are “looking into” trading for the 37-year-old goalie.

“We should prepare ourselves for the possibility of Marc-Andre Fleury, Washington Capital. At the very least, the Capitals are looking into it,” Friedman wrote.

The Capitals entered the season with the youngest goaltending duo in the NHL. Ilya Samsonov, 24, and Vitek Vanecek, 26, have split time this season and have both been inconsistent. Vanecek opened the year as the No. 1 goalie, but Samsonov — a former top prospect who was expected by many to replace Braden Holtby — took that spot over in late November. However, it’s now back to Vanecek, who has started five of the team’s last six games.

While Washington is not one of the three teams Fleury has played for, the Capitals don’t need a reminder of his prowess in net.

Fleury played for Pittsburgh for 13 seasons and has had his fair share of chances at stopping Alex Ovechkin’s one-timers — both in the regular season and in postseason battles between the Penguins and the Capitals. Fleury was also in cage for the Vegas Golden Knights during the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals that the Capitals won in five games.

Fleury, who carries a $7 million cap hit, has a .913 save percentage in his 18-year career. In his first year with Chicago this season, he’s posted a 13-13-3 record with a .913 save percentage. Last season, Fleury won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender. 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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