PITTSBURGH -- Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said he waived the no-movement clause in his contract as a way to help the Pittsburgh Penguins win their second consecutive Stanley Cup title, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday.
Fleury reportedly waived the clause in February because he thought it would allow him to remain with the Penguins for the rest of the season. If Fleury had chosen to not waive it, the Penguins could have pushed to trade him to one of the 18 teams not on his no-trade list prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 1 because they did not want the Vegas Golden Knights to take goaltender Matt Murray in the NHL Expansion Draft, according to the newspaper.
"The team came forward to me and asked … it gave them more [flexibility] for the future, for the summer, so they weren't scrambling to trade me," Fleury said. "I thought it was the right thing to help the team, to stay with the team and finish the season here and have a chance to play for the Cup again."
Video: Murray talks about his relationship with Fleury
With Fleury's decision to waive his no-movement clause, the Penguins can leave him unprotected in the expansion draft and protect Murray (a team can protect one goalie). A team must submit its protected list by 5 p.m. ET on Saturday, with Vegas' selections to be revealed during the 2017 NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft presented by T-Mobile on June 21 (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN).
Being able to keep Fleury paid off for the Penguins. The 32-year-old became their starter when Murray was injured during warmups prior to the first game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and went 9-6 with a 2.56 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.
Fleury was pulled after allowing four goals on nine shots in the first period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Ottawa Senators. Murray replaced him and remained the starter for the rest of the postseason, becoming the first goalie to win the Stanley Cup twice as a rookie.
Vegas could select Fleury and keep him or trade him elsewhere. He said he's open to anything.
"I've heard my name out there, a lot," Fleury said. "But I don't know. I guess we'll find out soon."
Video: Fleury waives his NMC for the Expansion Draft
Fleury was the Penguins' No. 1 goalie to begin the 2015-16 season and said he would like to be a starter again.
"I still love the game," he said. "I still love to play. Hopefully, if I can still do that … it will be appreciated."
Though Fleury doesn't know if that chance will come with the Golden Knights, he wouldn't dismiss playing for Vegas.
"From what I've seen and heard, they should be competitive, from the first season," Fleury said.