Skip to content

Rutherford: Mental game used to be difficult for Fleury, but he’s improved

Jun 8, 2014, 2:10 PM EST

Marc-Andre Fleury Getty Images

Before the 2013-14 campaign started, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had taken a lot of heat for his recent performances in the playoffs. Former GM Ray Shero backed the goaltender and Fleury rewarded him with a solid showing in the 2014 postseason, even if it wasn’t enough to save the Penguins or, for that matter, Shero.

Now that Jim Rutherford has taken over as the team’s general manager, he’ll have to decide what to do with the future of the Penguins’ goaltending as the 29-year-old netminder only has one season left on his seven-year, $35 million contract.

“The one thing I’ll say about Fleury is this past season was the best season, the most consistent season he’s had over several seasons, probably over three or four seasons,” Rutherford said, per NHL.com. “Other than a couple of goals in the Columbus series, I thought his playoff series performance was fine, his regular season was fine and from an ability point of view he’s a very, very good goalie.

“Going back a couple years, I think the mental part of the game was difficult for him, and certainly it seems that whatever he did in last offseason has strengthened his position, and I see him as a guy that’ll build off of last season and be as good or better next year.”

Publicly praising one of your players is one thing, but will Rutherford throw his full support behind Fleury by inking him to a contract extension over the summer? Or would he rather wait to see how Fleury does in the 2015 playoffs before attempting to re-sign him?

One obvious factor is what Fleury will demand. He currently comes with a $5 million annual cap hit, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he seeks a raise given that he’s set to rank 14th among goalies in 2014-15 from a cap perspective and he’ll slip further once Ryan Miller signs.

Latest Posts
  1. Cardiac Cats: Panthers win as Reimer, Leafs fade in third

    Dec 28, 2014, 8:09 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    Florida’s breathing down Toronto’s neck in the East standings.

  2. Leafs lose Panik to upper-body injury

    Dec 28, 2014, 7:05 PM EST

    richardp Getty Images

    There are some concussion concerns.

  3. All Varlamov: Avalanche send Pickard to AHL

    Dec 28, 2014, 6:25 PM EST

    Calvin Pickard AP

    Reto Berra might not see much action going forward.

  4. Report: Blues’ Elliott medically cleared to play

    Dec 28, 2014, 5:30 PM EST

    Brian Elliott Brian Elliott

    Has been out of St. Louis’ lineup since Nov. 25.

  5. Carter Ashton returns to Leafs’ lineup

    Dec 28, 2014, 5:00 PM EST

    carterashtongetty Getty Images

    Playing for the first time since Nov. 4

  6. Report: Blackhawks’ Richards to return Monday

    Dec 28, 2014, 4:15 PM EST

    Winnipeg Jets v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    Has missed three games with an upper body injury.

  7. Letang, Hornqvist miss Pens’ practice

    Dec 28, 2014, 3:30 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    The forward will miss a few weeks with a lower body injury.

  8. Leafs place Komarov on IR (Updated)

    Dec 28, 2014, 2:45 PM EST

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

    Recalled goaltender Christopher Gibson from AHL.

  9. Islanders activate Halak from IR

    Dec 28, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

    Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Islanders Getty Images

    Kevin Poulin returned to Bridgeport.

  10. Predators place Derek Roy on waivers

    Dec 28, 2014, 12:30 PM EST

    Derek Roy Derek Roy

    Boston’s Matt Fraser also on the waiver wire.

  11. Steve Ott offers advice for Stars’ Ryan Garbutt

    Dec 28, 2014, 10:30 AM EST

    ryangarbuttgetty Getty Images

    The Dallas forward has been suspended three times in two seasons.

  12. Canucks recall defenseman Sanguinetti from Utica

    Dec 28, 2014, 9:45 AM EST

    Arizona Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks Arizona Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks

    Expected to serve as an extra defenseman as the Canucks visit the Ducks.

  13. Video: Red-hot power play key to Kings’ recent success

    Dec 28, 2014, 1:59 AM EST

    Darryl Sutter AP

    Darryl Sutter must like what he sees with the advantage.

  14. Lucic: Players have to step up for struggling Bruins

    Dec 27, 2014, 11:47 PM EST

    Milan Lucic Michel Cormier AP

    Some controversy in this game, too.

Featured video

Holiday wish lists for NHL teams
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Perry (2714)
  2. B. Bishop (2712)
  3. B. Elliott (2149)
  4. S. Weiss (1957)
  5. S. Crosby (1750)
  1. J. Halak (1717)
  2. S. Varlamov (1707)
  3. J. Schwartz (1703)
  4. N. Kronwall (1629)
  5. J. Howard (1610)