Let’s Discuss: Marc-André Fleury

Marc-André Fleury
Marc-André Fleury wins the Vezina (Source: Twitter @GoldenKnights)

Welcome back to that time of year, where the Marc-André Fleury trade rumors begin swirling once again. Fans of the Vegas Golden Knights should be against all of them as keeping one of the continuously best goaltenders in the NHL should be at the top of the franchise’s wishlist. Not only is he one of the most-loved guys in the entire league, he still has so much more to offer, despite what social media may have told you off and on throughout the last few years.

“Vegas has a face of the franchise in Marc-André Fleury.”

“Marc-André Fleury is the best goaltender in the league.”

“Marc-André Fleury should retire.”

*Marc-André Fleury trade rumors*

“Subban should be our starter.”

“Fleury is the definite number one goalie for Vegas.”

“Lehner should be our starter.”

*Marc-André Fleury trade rumors*

“Fleury has earned his spot.”

“It’s time for Fleury to retire.”

*more Marc-André Fleury trade rumors*

We have heard all of this in Vegas repeatedly over the last four years, and honestly, it is time for it all to stop. Marc-André Fleury will be playing until he makes the decision to stop.

There are plenty of rumors that the man known as Flower is being shopped by the Vegas Golden Knights right now, and until officially announced otherwise, he is still a Golden Knight. If you are worried about him being traded away, we’ve heard these rumors each of the last three summers. He is still here. On the other hand, if you are one of those hoping he does get moved, it’s time to look at some facts.

Recent performance

Fleury has been one of the top goaltenders in the NHL for the majority of the last 17 years and is coming off of the best season of his career. A save percentage of .928 (sv%) coupled with a 1.98 goals against average throughout the shortened 2020-21 season would warrant any other netminder praise and a fanbase that is calling for a contract extension. If that is not enough for you, there is nothing to suggest that Fleury will do anything but continue to excel for the time being.

In the last ten years, he has had two seasons with an sv% below .910. The seasons directly following each saw him perform career bests. While there are some goaltenders who have been seeing steady declines in recent years, Marc-André Fleury is not one of them. The Golden Knights and their fans should be absolutely overjoyed that a goaltender of Fleury’s caliber genuinely wants to play for their team. His talents could have taken him just about anywhere in the league, and he landed in Vegas. He decided to remain in Vegas.

After the events of the 2019-20 season, where he seemingly lost the full-time starter’s net and had to deal with a rollercoaster of a season, he could have decided to step away. Instead, he came back, and alongside Robin Lehner, he won the Jennings Trophy. Instead, he came back and won the Vezina as the best goaltender in the NHL.

Staying in Vegas

To be a goaltender in the NHL, you must have thick skin to survive.

To be a goaltender in Vegas, you must have thick skin and a powerful personality on your own.

It’s not every day that you have one of the all-time NHL greats on your team. To all of the naysayers, be careful what you wish for. You just might come to severely regret it.

Fleury embodies everything that one could possibly want in a franchise goaltender, and there is no good reason to move on from him already. However, if the VGK fans don’t want him, there are many franchises who would absolutely love to have him (hello, San Jose?). Luckily, his cap hit stands in the way for the moment. Without getting an outstanding return and agreeing to retain salary, there is a very slim chance that Flower is going anywhere. It’s time to be excited that we can continue to have confidence in our goaltending situation. With the NHL returning this October, maybe this will be the season where the fanbase celebrates our netminders and all they bring to the Golden Knights organization, starting with Marc-André Fleury. Perhaps we all will finally see the organization do the same.

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