The Blackhawks posted a flower emoji on their Twitter account early Sunday morning, then multiple reports said Fleury had decided to play for Chicago.
Fleury, however, was contemplating his future after his agent, Allan Walsh, said the three-time Stanley Cup-winning goaltender was caught off guard by the trade, with sources telling ESPN that he found out about it via social media.
Sources had said there was chatter that Fleury, 36, might retire if he was traded from Vegas.
According to sources, Blackhawks president and general manager Stan Bowman and Fleury had a phone conversation Tuesday afternoon. Bowman and the Blackhawks want to respect Fleury and give him the space and time he needs to make a decision, sources said.
Fleury, a 17-year NHL veteran, won his first Vezina Trophy in 2021 with Vegas. He went 26-10-0 with a career-best .928 save percentage and 1.98 GAA as the Golden Knights had the league’s second-best record in the regular season, trailing only the Colorado Avalanche.
Fleury and Robin Lehner won the William Jennings Trophy as the goalie tandem with the best save percentage this past season. In the playoffs, Fleury led the Golden Knights to series wins against the Minnesota Wild and the Avalanche before falling to the Montreal Canadiens in the semifinals.
It’s the first time in 20 years the reigning Vezina winner was traded before the next season. Buffalo traded Dominik Hasek to Detroit on the first day of free agency in 2001.
Fleury, who won all three of his Cup titles with the Pittsburgh Penguins, had been the Golden Knights’ starting goaltender from the team’s inception and led Vegas to the Stanley Cup Final in its first season.
Fleury immediately becomes the No. 1 goalie for the Blackhawks. Chicago parted ways with longtime netminder Corey Crawford ahead of last season and instead turned to a trio of youngsters: Collin Delia, Kevin Lankinen and Malcolm Subban.