ST PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Wild didn't wait for the NHL Draft to make a splash Thursday night as they announced they were bringing back goalie Marc-Andre Fleury mere minutes before the draft began.
The team confirmed the signing on its Twitter account with a message reading, in part, "The flower is back!"
Team officials say they've signed the future Hall of Famer to a two-year, $7 million contract.
Fleury, who joined the Wild midway through the 2021-22 season, went 9-2-0 with a 2.74 goals-against average (GAA) and a .910 save percentage in 11 regular-season starts. He also played five of the six postseason games against the St. Louis Blues, where he went 2-3 with a 3.04 GAA and a .906 save percentage. The Wild went on to lose the series.
Fleury began the season with the Chicago Blackhawks, where he won 28 games, before the Wild traded for the three-time Stanley Cup champion in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Last season was the 13th time he won 25-plus games in season, making him just the third goalie to do so. Only Martin Brodeur (15) and Patrick Roy (14) have more 25-win seasons.
Fleury's return gives Minnesota two capable netminders for the upcoming season. Cam Talbot is entering the final year of his three-year contract and teamed up with Fleury to go 17-2-3 to close out the regular season.
Talbot played in just one game in their playoff series with the Blues — a 5-1 loss that eliminated the Wild from the postseason — but he went 13-0-3 in his previous 16 starts, including two shutouts. During that stretch, Talbot had a 2.43 GAA with a .917 save percentage.
The tandem also buys the Wild some time to develop their 19-year-old goaltending prospect Jesper Wallstedt, who is regarded as one of the top goalie prospects in the league.
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