The Pittsburgh Penguins maintain they'd like to keep goalies Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury for the rest of the season but general manager Jim Rutherford said Thursday he would listen if Fleury asked to be traded.
"Our priority here is to win," Rutherford told triblive.com. "My preference hasn't changed. Go back to training camp. My preference is to keep both these goalies here this year."
But Rutherford acknowledged those plans could change if Fleury raised the issue.
"The one thing I'll have to watch for and keep the lines of communication open with the player is, is he OK with the situation that he's in?" Rutherford said. "Going back to last year and to this point in time, he has handled it like a true pro. No issues at all. It may play out that we may be able to go right through (the season) having two top goalies on our team. We just have to keep an eye on what direction Marc wants to go here in the next few weeks."
Fleury, who is in the second year of a four-year contract with an average annual value of $5.75 million, according to capfriendly.com, has been the backup this season after starting at least 58 games in each of the past seven full NHL seasons. The 32-year-old is 13-7-4 with a 3.23 goals-against average and .904 save percentage in 24 starts.
Video: PIT@DET: Fleury stacks pads to rob Glendening
With Fleury injured, Murray, 22, won 15 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season to help the Penguins win the Stanley Cup. He is 19-6-1 with a 2.42 goals-against average, .921 save percentage and two shutouts this season and signed a three-year contract extension prior to this season with an average annual value of $3.75 million.
The Penguins are 32-13-5 and in third place in the Metropolitan Division.
The NHL Trade Deadline is March 1, and Fleury has a limited no-trade clause which can block a move to 12 teams. He reportedly also cannot be made available to the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL Expansion Draft without his permission.
"We want to respect what [Fleury has] done," Rutherford said. "He has won two Stanley Cups here, has been a popular player not only within the organization but with the fans. He deserves to be respected properly, and that's what we're trying to do."