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Fleury Shines as Penguins Bop Blues – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Fleury Shines as Penguins Bop Blues

I must admit. Watching last night’s Penguins-Blues game on the big screen TV at the Pennsbury Pub and Grille, I was pulling like mad for goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to do well.

“I hope ‘Flower’ gets a shutout,” I repeated at least three or four times to my good friend, Dave Yelich, in an obvious breach of sports etiquette.

Fleury almost did, too, coming within nine minutes and change of posting a goose egg before Patrik Berglund churned through the slot and slid a backhander through a tiny opening in the five hole.

In keeping with his recent custom, Fleury slowly uncoiled from his low goaltender’s crouch and went for a short skate. His way of pressing an internal reset button, I suppose. I sensed by a slight shrug of the shoulders that he really wanted a shutout.

Of course, Marc-Andre wasn’t the only story of the night. As if we needed any reminders, Sidney Crosby reaffirmed his status as the finest player in the world with a brilliant three-point game.

Defying logic—if not the very laws of physics—Sid roofed a backhander from impossibly close range to give our Pens the lead. With a masterful bit of deception, he faked a slap slot before slipping a perfectly placed pass into Justin Schultz’s wheelhouse on our second goal. Borrowing a page from the past, No. 87 closed out the scoring in a crisp 4-1 Pens victory by air-mailing an improbable Murphy Dump into an empty net.

Still, my thoughts were with Fleury. Amid all the rumors flying about (an especially crazy one out of Toronto has him going to Colorado for Jarome Iginla) you never know if you’re witnessing his last game in the black and gold.

While I’ve never been a dyed-in-the-wool Fleury supporter—he’s been too inconsistent and error-prone to suit me—I’m suddenly saddened by the thought that he might be leaving.

Deeply so.

After all, when then-GM Craig Patrick traded up to grab the willowy wunderkind from Sorel, Quebec with the No. 1 overall pick in 2003, Fleury became the original cornerstone of the Penguins resurrection.

“We were looking to build a championship team from goal on out,” said former goaltending coach Gilles Meloche. “Not too many goalies like Marc-Andre come along.”

Basking in the recent afterglow of two Stanley Cups and 10-consecutive playoff appearances, it’s hard to remember just how bad we were back then. Jaromir Jagr and Alexei Kovalev were gone. Martin Straka, soon to depart. Mario Lemieux, injured for most of the season, was in the final throes of an extraordinary Hall-of-Fame career. Journeymen like Drake Berehowsky and Rico Fata dotted the roster.

Raw as he was, Fleury gave us hope. Few who witnessed it can forget his dazzling debut at Mellon Arena back on October 10, 2003, when he made 46 saves as an 18-year-old kid in a 3-0 loss to the Kings. Many of the highlight-reel variety. Or his valiant 31-save effort in his second start that vaulted the lowly Pens past powerhouse Detroit.

He’s been remarkably durable over the years, especially for one so slight of build. From 2005-06 through last year, he averaged 57 games a season. Exclude the lockout season (2012-13) and ’07-08, when he missed time with a high-ankle sprain, the average soars to over 60 games.

Nearly every significant goaltending record in franchise history is his—both regular season and postseason. Games played, shutouts, victories…you name it.

During his stay in the Steel City he’s experienced dizzying highs and equally crushing lows. His sprawling, last-second stop on Nicklas Lidstrom in Game 7 of the Finals back in ’09 won us a Cup and cemented his status as a Penguins hero for the ages.

On the flip side? His wobbly performance in the 2012 playoffs against Philadelphia elicited scathing criticism from the media and bloggers alike, myself included. Not to mention his all-too-frequent puckhandling gaffes.

Yet through it all, his grace and dignity have remained intact. Not to mention the undying respect and affection of his teammates.

As Fleury was interviewed by Dan Potash following last night’s win, I couldn’t help but note that after all these years he seems like the same guy. Flashing the same shy smile and answering questions in a way that reveals his modest nature and all-around goodness and decency.

Small wonder he’s so beloved in the ‘Burgh. How can you not root for a guy like that?

No matter what Flower’s fate, I wish him the best.

No one is more deserving.

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29 Comments

  1. the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
    February 7, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Hey everyone,

    Just to stir the pot; I just read this on the NHL website byt their analysts with respect to the trade deadline;

    “Fleury, 32, has been a good soldier again this season, and GM Jim Rutherford repeatedly has said he wants to keep him and rookie Matt Murray to help in the Penguins’ bid to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. In addition, Fleury has a no-movement clause and a modified no-trade clause. But if a trade gave Fleury a chance to play regularly and the Penguins the ability to upgrade their roster, Fleury and Rutherford would have to seriously consider it.”

    Some of us have echoed that mantra for months now, some have resisted it. So I am throwing it into the well to see if it makes a splash.

    Go Pens

    • Jim's Gravatar Jim
      February 7, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Hey Coach
      Splash ? Your right. There are several of us who are on different sides of this issue. If a trade is made we all want a good return for our Team and a future for MAF.
      But there is an issue I believe that few of us take into consideration when discussing MAF and his long term future. That is if MAF does clear the Vegas draft and he is still a member of the Pens, under cap rules a team can be 10% over the cap limit until opening day in October of the 2017 new season. But when the Team takes to the ice u have a serious problem especially with Murray’s new 3.2 million dollar deal and other new contracts. I know it sounds crazy, but nobody will take an over paid goalie with his best years behind him at the start of a new season. Only option JR has is to buy out the last year of his contract and apply the cap hit over two years. Does that make sense to you?
      So I believe we make the best deal possible now to avoid this potential situation in October and upgrade our d corps.
      Remember people say WBS goalie Tristan Jarry may fail at the NHL level and there for he is not ready.
      They said the same thing about Matt Murray 16 months ago. THEY NO CHOICE BUT TO PLAY MURRAY in 2015/ 2016 and it worked.
      Your thoughts.

      • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
        February 7, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Hey Jim,

        You and I are on the same page. I love MAF. He is a class act, was the best or arguably the best G they had over the first 50yrs, and still can be an effective no 1 for a couple of more years. However, at his $$$ he places the Pens on very thin ice. Yes we have other UFAs that will be leaving this summer, but if the Pens don’t trade MAF now, they may not be able to really replace any FAs. And lets also remember the RFAs; Schultz, Domoulin, and especially Sheary.

        Showing loyalty to a class act like MAF may be feel good, but it can and most likely will cause problems. MAF can still come back later on after this contract is up or whenever and retire a Pens but I agree, it is in the teams best interest to trade him sooner rather than later.

        The interesting thing about the article that quote came from cited Shattenkirk as a player the Pens may want to pursue. Therefore your trade proposal of a couple days ago; MAF, Pouliot, and I think Maatta for Shattenkirk, Bortuzzo, and Allen may look good to the authors of that article.

  2. Jim's Gravatar Jim
    February 6, 2017 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi Rick,
    Something totally unrelated, but may have an impact on all of the Teams in the league eventually. Last week I read about two separate hockey events…

    1. The New York Islanders were given notice by the Barclay Center that they would NOT renew their lease. After all the trouble of leaving their long time home in the Nassau Coliseum, apparently they are being turfed out. The owners of the Barclay center say they can make more money doing concerts and other public paying events as opposed to leasing to an NHL team. Go figure.
    2. Arizona ! Here we go again. Apparently the new team owners had a deal with the NBA Suns to move to a new joint venue downtown. According to media reports last week that the deal is now dead and the Coyotes are back to square one again.
    Both of these teams will require new facilities which are not cheap to construct and the appetite to build with public funded debt is about ZERO.
    So Houston, we may have a problem ! How you say ? That dirty 3 letter word. CAP ! As in Salary Cap. It was hoped that a new arena in a better location in Phoenix would draw more fans, ( public and corporate ) and thus allow the Coyotes to become a profitable franchise, and not requiring league compensation that occurs now in smaller markets.That would, in a small way allow the Cap to rise because of the increased shared revenues.
    A funny thing in the state of Arizona Rick, is the poor people of Glendale are still stuck paying for, what was soon to be an empty rink, with their taxes for many years to come. I do not think the NHL is really popular in Glendale right now ! Basketball yes. Hockey … right next to Roller Derby and Ping pong.
    With New York…The NHL needs a strong second NHL team there because New York is the largest, most profitable Hockey market in the World, due to its shear size. Toronto, which is much smaller comes second the experts say.
    The Rangers, a small part of the large Madison Square Gardens commercial empire recently built a billion dollar plus multi sport / multi use facility. The owners of the Islanders can not, or will not do the same. In all reality, of the 30 teams in the league, less than 10 could actually build a new billion dollar rink without Government help.( look at the Pen’s ). So now, what does the owners of the Islanders do? Sell ?? With out a proper home with revenue sharing of parking and concessions. Good luck !!
    Only thing they can do is sell and move to another City. But Carolina has been for sale for 2 years and has had no takers. Others as well !
    The Vegas crowd paid 500 million for a new team. They could of bought Carolina for a lot less but Bettman stepped in and said no.The price for a new franchise is 500 million, so that all other NHL franchises could say to their bankers, my franchise is worth at least 500 million too.
    I laughed when I read that in the Hockey News last year. I do not agree with their flawed logic.
    So to end this long tirade, the Cap is a funny thing. Without a profitable Islander franchise and at least a break even Coyote franchise, the Cap is in trouble again. Plus there are 3 or 4 other NHL teams that can be bought for less money as well.
    My friends in Quebec City say that why pay 500 million dollars when if we just wait, they will come to us for less money. From a pure Cap perspective Rick, move a losing team to Quebec tomorrow because they are crazy for NHL Hockey in Quebec, and that will help the Cap to rise.
    That in turn helps us all. Sorry for such a long rant Rick, but it does affect us !

    Cheers 🙂

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      February 7, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Hey Jim,

      Excellent stuff … thanks so much for sharing.

      Even though the Phoenix area has a long hockey history dating back to the Roadrunners of the old WHL, I’ve always questioned the wisdom of having an NHL team out in the desert. Especially when there are such deserving cities north of the border.

      Quebec City, as you mentioned, where you would hardly need to beg fans to attend games. I’m still astounded that the NHL allowed the Nordiques to move to Colorado back in the ‘90s. I realize it’s all about $$$. But the Canadiens-Nordiques rivalry was truly special.

      Image Philly moving to, say, Kansas City or some such place. No more Pens-Flyers. It’s kind of like that.

      Speaking of other deserving cities, Hamilton, Ontario used to be mentioned prominently as a potential site, but not so much anymore. Even though the greater Toronto area is a huge market, I’d heard the Maple Leafs (and perhaps the Sabres) weren’t too keen on having another NHL team in the immediate neighborhood.

      While I’m admittedly naïve when it comes to high finance, it seems to me that would set up a terrific natural rivalry.

      Has any of that changed?

      Rick

      • Jim's Gravatar Jim
        February 7, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Hi Rick.
        To the best of my knowledge is that the N H L wants 1 billion US dollars for a new Toronto franchise plus paid compensation for the Leafs and to a lesser degree Buffalo. With the cost of a new 25,000 seat arena and required parking facilities the cost goes well over 2 billion US dollars. ( 3 billion Canadian ).
        That is a lot of money for a Hockey team.
        FYI Rick, the Leafs are part of the Rogers communications group empire and they own the NBA Raptors and the North American soccer league team that share the same arena. Plus Rogers out bid the CBC and got the TV rights for Hockey Night in Canada for 10 years and makes billions of dollars on advertising across Canada. ROGERS pays the NHL over a billion dollars,Canadian dollars a year for the rights to English Canada. ( French Quebec has a separate contract with the NHL and is owned by Mario’s buddy and neighbor in Quebec.)
        Really only the Rangers as a company can rival the financial strength that Rogers has in Toronto.
        The new rink in Edmonton has Rogers name on it.
        Hard to compete with that much financial muscle.

        With Hamilton and Jim Blaise ?? (THE Black Berry guy ) , he tried to aquire a couple different NHL teams for Hamilton and the league had issues with his management style and nothing ever happened there.The rink is probably 20 years old now, but it was called the Copps Coliseum and was paid with City and other funds.Today you could not do that.
        Plus Hamilton was a steel city, like Pittsburgh and has had some hard times in the steel industry, just like the berg.( 55 on Point would have a better update because he/she lives in Southern Ontario. )
        Eventually there will be another team in Toronto because Rogers knows that is good for cable ratings and the only reason they own the sports empire is to feed their media company.
        One last point. Montreal has a sponsorship with Rogers rival…Bell. So Montreal plays in the Bell center….Rivalry never stops.
        Plus the owners of Montreal are the Molson family. They are large beer makers in Canada based in Montreal. Good mix to have even though I am tea drinker myself.
        Cheers

        • Jim's Gravatar Jim
          February 7, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          Hey Rick
          I forgot Rogers own the Blue Jays as well.
          🙂

        • 55 on Point's Gravatar 55 on Point
          February 10, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          Hi Jim,

          Sorry to say I live right here in the Burgh, though I have visited the Toronto/Hamilton area many times.

          It’s my opinion that the NHL’s reach may exceed its grasp. I even thought 30 teams was a stretch, but maybe that’s because of some of the questionable locations they’ve managed to put franchises, like Arizona and Carolina. I’m not really a fan of further expansion, but would rather see them move distressed teams to places like Quebec. I worry about dilution of the talent pool, too. However, we know Bettman, and Bettman is all about the money.

          • 55 on Point's Gravatar 55 on Point
            February 10, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

            Should have said, proud to say. Duh!

          • Jim's Gravatar Jim
            February 10, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

            Hi 55 on Point
            My apologies my friend.My mistake.Last year someone posted they lived in southern Ontario.
            I thought another Canuck.
            Thanks for setting me straight.
            ☺ cheers

  3. Jim's Gravatar Jim
    February 5, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Hi Rick
    I too am glad that Crosby starts scoring again because we need at least 31 plus goals or primary assists from our captain to advance to the playoffs.
    Simply put, Sid has to get us 1 goal a game until the end of the regular season, plus the power play has to get us 1 goal a game, Murray has to have a GAA of 2 and the rest of the 3 lines have to get us 1 goal or more.
    Seems easy Rick. But there are 31 games left to go in the regular season.We have 71 points.The pundits say we will need 104 points to secure a play off spot because of the league parity.(their numbers not mine. )
    To do this we need to win at least 17 more games!
    By the math it looks very easy. 54% winning percentage. How come I am so nervous Rick when I see the competition heating up?
    Cheers

    • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
      February 6, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Hey Jim,

      I hear ya’ my friend.

      I’m not so uneasy about the regular season. I think we’ll make the playoffs just fine. Too much organizational depth not to.

      The postseason is another matter. Factor in our long Cup run, the World Cup, and heightened competition–especially within our division–it’s going to be a tall mountain to climb.

      Not to belabor the point. But if we could just upgrade our defense with a solid all-arounder, I’d feel better about our chances to repeat. I’m not sold on Olli Maatta.

      Rick

      • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
        February 6, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Amen Rick,

        Agree on all points

      • Jim's Gravatar Jim
        February 6, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Hi Rick,
        I hear what your saying and by the numbers to date we should be ok until the second round of the play offs.Washington,Columbus,New York, and Montreal,( if they can pick up another offensive fwd at the trade deadline ), will all be very tough opponents for us to deal with. Then you have a few wild cards this year. ( Ottawa ).(Boston).( Tampa , if they get their …. together).(Phili ?? ) (Toronto ??). keep on going….
        Simply put Rick, there are a lot of young moving parts in the Eastern Conference right now, and much like in 2008 when the youthful Pen’s served notice on the NHL that their time had arrived, nobody ever predicted that they would win so quickly in 2009.
        My buddies all said Saturday at the rink, that come play off time when everything is faster, more pressure,more physical and a few mistakes can cost you the game, nobody in the East is safe.
        Every team has issues. Meaning anybody can win.
        Also they noted unless the Pen’s can cut down on the number of shots directed at our goal, and get our face off percentage against ELITE teams up to 55 to 60 %, we are not going past the second round. (They handi capped all the teams and not just my Penguins, and consensus was there is no clear winner as of yet.)
        So I hope we get that elusive d man we all talked about and personally I would like another winger with skill and size for Geno.
        Every game is starting to be important and the trade deadline is not that far away my friend.
        Good article as always.
        Cheers

        • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
          February 6, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          Hey Jim,

          I am there with your buddies, if the Pens can’t get those shot totals down, their only hope is a Conn Smythe heroic performance from Murray, he will be shelled; especially if they don’t get those face-off numbers up, particularly the d-zone face-offs.

          Hopefully, the last couple of games is a sign of them doing just that, they brought the Shot Attempts back into the 50s. I would love to see those number get even a little lower than last game. Fleury only faced 23 SOG but the D still had to block over 20 shots.

    • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
      February 6, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Hey Jim,

      Like Rick, I am not that uneasy about making the play-offs. Certainly nothing is a done deal. So I do understand your uneasy feeling. There is a lot of great teams right now in the division and a strong case can be made for them.

  4. the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
    February 5, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Hey Rick,

    Amen to that, MAF is class personified.

    However, MAF for Inginla? Sorry, I can’t buy that one. I like Inginla and I think this time we have a coach that would put him in a position to succeed, but F is not where the Pens need help, especially RW. With Kessel, Hornqvist, Rust, Kuhnhackl, Fehr, …… Who plays where? If MAF is traded get us some solid, big, heavy, D, will you JR?

    • Jayelene's Gravatar Jayelene
      February 5, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Hi guys,

      I agree with the other Rick … if we’re going to trade MAF, we should get a missing piece in return. Inginla is a really good player, but doesn’t fill the need we have on D. Personally, I’m starting to come around to the notion that it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to carry both goaltenders, especially if MAF can consistently play this way without regular starts. (I also worry about Murray getting injured, but don’t put too much stock in that – I’m a worrier by nature 😉 )

      Also, in an offhand comment last week, I asked the question of why the Pens didn’t bring up Oskar Sundqvist, bringing up “another center” instead. I’m happy to eat those words. Carter Rowney has been a revelation in the two games I’ve seen him play, and seems to add value on both ends of the ice.

      Go Penguins!
      Jayelene

      • Jim's Gravatar Jim
        February 5, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        Hi Jayelene
        That is the problem we have. Both net minders need to play and play often. Based on the past 14 months experience we can conclude that Mike Sullivan preferred to use Murray over Fleury. No matter what JR or the owners say.
        So my question to you is.Is it fair to MAF and Murray to leave the situation the way it is? Plus I believe that
        there are other, cheaper options to go with if we just open our eyes and use our heads and not our hearts.
        Plus I too want to see Oskar playing at the NHL level now. Some people do not realize that in Sweden Oskar has been playing against men since he was 18 or 19.Most US College and Canadian Junior players have not had that much experience as he had playing against larger and stronger opposition at a young age.
        Good to hear from you.
        Cheers

        • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
          February 6, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

          Hey Jayelene and Jim,

          I too am a Sundqvist fan. I am glad to see that Rowney is playing fairly well but can’t help but believe that Sundqvist still would have been a better choice. He showed last year that he belonged here. He has great body position. The only way I won’t complain is if the team says they just want Sundqvist getting max ice-time rather than sitting on the bench.

      • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
        February 6, 2017 at 6:09 am | Permalink

        Hey Jayelene and Other Rick,

        A Fleury-Iginla deal is obviously pretty far flung for all the reasons you mentioned, although the (not-very-reliable) local source insisted it was in the works. I kind of included it for effect.

        Agree that if we move Flower at all, it needs to be for an upgrade on defense. Not to sound down on the guy, but I’m just not comfortable with Olli Maatta right now.

        However, if a deal can’t be worked out, I wouldn’t be upset in the least if we kept Fleury. Jayelene, as you so aptly noted, injuries do happen. And should Murray get hurt (Heaven forbid), it sure would be nice to have Flower waiting in the wings.

        Rick

        • Jayelene's Gravatar Jayelene
          February 6, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

          Hi guys,

          I agree with Jim that MAF definitely deserves to be respected by the organization. And I’ve read recently that Rutherford would try to trade him, if he wanted out. But as far as I know, he hasn’t asked for that. And working a deal that would be good for both Flower and the team at the trade deadline can’t be an easy task.

          I also agree with Rick … I get this uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I see Maata on the ice these days. (I don’t recall feeling that way last year.) A trade that would bring the right defenseman in would go a long way toward settling that queasiness down.

          This does bring a question to mind, something I’ve been wondering about. Let’s just say they do trade MAF, but don’t get a goalie in return. How close do you think Jarry is to being ready to play in the NHL? Is he a viable option to backup Murray? I’m just wondering how tightly Rutherford’s hands are tied if he does try to make a deal.

          • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
            February 6, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

            Hey Jayelene,

            An excellent question, and certainly a concern when you’re contemplating a Fleury deal.

            While Tristan Jarry is highly regarded, I think it’s safe to say he isn’t the second coming of Matt Murray (few goalies are).

            At this stage of his development, I don’t think the Pens want Jarry sitting on the bench eight out of 10 games, either. He needs to play regularly, just like he’s doing at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

            So, at least in my mind, it’s imperative the Pens acquire a solid veteran backup if they deal Fleury, either in the same trade or a separate one. And not just any Tom, Dick or Zatkoff (sorry Jeff), but one capable of carrying a starting load for a stretch.

            One like (sigh) Mike Condon.

            Rick

            • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
              February 6, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

              Hey Rick,

              Excellent answer and I too think condon was the fish that got away too.

            • Jayelene's Gravatar Jayelene
              February 6, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

              Hi Rick,
              Getting playoff-quality goaltending and defense help in the same trade (or simulataneous trades), all as the deadline approaches, sure seems like a complex order. Even with the depth in the organization, I’m glad I’m not in Mr. Rutherford’s shoes. 😉
              Jayelene

            • Rick Buker's Gravatar Rick Buker
              February 6, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

              Jayelene had brought up Condon in one of her posts a while back, and I wholeheartedly agree.

              Rick

          • Jim's Gravatar Jim
            February 6, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

            Hi All,
            A point also worth noting is our first pick of the 2016 draft, at number 55 is Swedish Goalie Filip Gustavsson. Top rated European goalie in the draft and second over all…Ala Tristan Jarry.
            This kid is a work in progress.He played 1 game at WJC and 5 games in international competition last summer and fall.
            Last year his GAA was 2.17 and todate his GAA is 2.48.
            But the kid does not turn 19 until June 7 th.
            Still a kid with a very bright future. 18 years old!
            So when looking at quality of positions, we are full of potential at Goalie.So with Jarry and Gustavsson both rated at number 2 when they were drafted…

            I just wish we had a couple of forward and a d man rated so high in our organization as well.That is the real problem.
            Cheers

    • Jim's Gravatar Jim
      February 5, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Hey Coach.
      You do not have to worry about Iggy wanting to come back to the Pen’s. After the way he was treated last time, ( miss used by the Coach ) and others ? ? he will never come back.Plus he is to old now.
      He was loved in every city he played in Coach.A class act and a true leader on every team he played for.
      Calgary.Boston.Colorado plus all the different national teams he played for. But not Pittsburgh.
      Remember he left a good situation in Calgary and I think promises were made and not kept!
      I agree we need to get a decent return for MAF but come July and if he is still on our team and his 5.7 million dollar contract,we simply will not have the caliber of players we have now, and the conference will get better and better.
      We need to get a deal done soon.
      Cheers

      • the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
        February 6, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Hey Jim,

        I agree completely, all the way through the need to move MAF for the good of the team, if not now, by summer. I like him and as you pointed out to Jayelene I don’t think it is fair to him (MAF) to be saddled as a back-up while he still can play No1. More importantly his almost $6mil cap hit could be better used elsewhere.


            

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