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Fleury’s Agent Echoes His Client’s Desire To Stay Put; Even Though Both Know He’s Probably Not

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Marc-Andre Fleury isn’t new to the business side of the NHL. He knows what went down between the trade deadline and the end of the Golden Knights playoff run, he understands the Golden Knights salary cap situation, and he sees the writing on the wall. No matter what he says or does now, nothing is going to change what will happen in the coming weeks (or maybe months).

So, when placed in that situation, might as well say the right thing before the inevitable happens.

Marc said that he wants to stay in Vegas, and he’s not looking for or seeking a trade anywhere else. He’s perfectly happy to co-exist with Robin Lehner, if that’s what ultimately happens. To some extent the decision making is out of his hands. But he wanted everyone to know where he stands and that he loves Vegas. –Alan Walsh on TSN 690

Walsh, Fleury’s agent, backed up what his client said to The Athletic’s Jesse Granger last week. You should read that interview if you haven’t yet, but to sum it up, Fleury hasn’t and won’t asked to be traded, he hopes to retire in Vegas, and he’d be perfectly happy to share the goal with Robin Lehner in 2020.

It’s all true, but there’s a motive behind the message Fleury was trying to get out. Speaking optimistically about the uncertainty of his future was a tactic and a smart one at that.

By stating he isn’t asking for a trade, Fleury is wisely playing both sides of the fence. He’s showing his appreciation and fondness for the fan base and the city of Las Vegas, but the 35-year-old goaltender was also signaling if and probably when a trade happens, it’s on the organization, not him.

He has great connection to the community. He loves his teammates and he came on board as literally player number one and wants to finish the journey that he set out on when he went to Vegas. Ending with a winning cup. He’s not looking for a change or anything else. –Walsh on TSN 690

With his comments, Fleury’s hands are wiped clean going forward. It’s hard for fans to get on a player when he specifically says he didn’t want to be traded. Instead, if/when it happens, it places all of the blame on the Golden Knights. It’s a savvy move by a savvy player, with a savvy agent.

Right now we are where we’re at, and Marc just wants people to know he’s not looking to go somewhere else. –Walsh on TSN 690

Professional sports franchises, like high-earning companies, do what’s best for them. Players, or employees, are subject to being rewarded or replaced. Fleury has had both happened to him while with Vegas. In the summer of 2018, he was rewarded. Less than two years later he was replaced.

When asked how Vegas could pay and carry both Fleury and Robin Lehner, Walsh wasn’t concerned with the Golden Knights tight budget.

That’s why my job is to negotiate contracts on behalf of players. My job is not to manage an individual team’s cap situation. They’re going to have to manage their cap just like every other team has to. That can’t be my concern, my concern is only with my client. –Walsh on TSN 690

Fleury may not like how things will end, and he knows many fans won’t either. So, he wanted the fans to know he wasn’t the cause of the breakup. The OG (original goaltender) says it’s not me, it’s you… well really, them.

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58 Comments

  1. Daryl

    While MAF might be playing both sides, he is still correct. I do think he wants to stay in Vegas but I don’t see it happening… and it will be on the owners and not MAF if/when he gets traded. It’s not throwing the owners under the bus as what happens is their decision and not really MAF. It’s different if you have a team whose main motive to trade a player isn’t based on salary cap

  2. If MAF would have been played ,especially during playoffs we wouldn’t be having these conversations.
    The deal always has been he is our stating goalie.
    Not back up. Please.

    • Dean

      If MAF had played more in the playoffs, we’d either still be playing now or celebrating a Stanley Cup victory.

      • Nick

        Hahahahahahaha Fleury scores goals now?! Thats interesting.

        • TFE

          No he doesn’t score goals, but his presence does motivate people. Look at season one when we were never supposed to end up where we did. It’s not just about individual players scoring goals, it’s about the team and how they are motivated. R. Lehner is a good goalie but obviously we needed more than that as a team. Just sayin’.

          • NativeVegasGKG

            You realize that we had more shots on goal with Lehner in net then with Fleury in net throughout the post season? This “he motivates them” thing is a garbage argument when it’s not statistically true.

          • Daryl

            Native…..
            Way to concentrate on one aspect. When you inspire or motivate a team, its not just about shots… it’s about quality of shots, hustle, giving a little extra, laying out a little more. Broadcasters said several times that the team looked more motivated when MAF can in to play. That obviously doesn’t guarantee a win but it does say something about the team.

            Sorry, but you can’t use one stat to say something isn’t true or not when you are talking about overall play. Again, I’m not going to say VGK would have won with MAF but they definitely didn’t win with Lehner in net. MAF is without a doubt a very team player, you won’t hear a negative thing about him from ANY team he’s played with before (beyond NHL). Same can’t be said for most players who are traded or let go.

        • Nick – Just for kicks I will remind you of a post I am sure you saw – they only lost by by one goal 9 to 8 in five games. What more needs to be said – maybe with Fluery in the net or rotate like was the plan it could have been the other way around!!!!!!

      • Jinklu

        Absolutely.

    • Alex J

      That’s right!

  3. Mgt created a very difficult and disruptive situation which easily could have been avoided. Did the team need a strong back-up to address any injury to MAF absolutely – and have that same guy the heir apparent when the face of the Knights hangs it up, sure. Could he and Lehner, rotate like was stated was the plan when they acquired him absolutely, would they still be in the play-off had they continued the rotation who knows – it couldn’t have turned out any worse. They obviously believed MAF was what they wanted to provide a three year extension and his play got the team to where they were for 2 and a half years and according to all a real asset in the room and a team player. So mgt it appears you are biting the hand that feeds you – not real wise. Whether MAF stays or goes it is an absolute shame the way things have been played out – I am equally sure it speaks volumes to the balance of the team. MAF Fourteen mill is not a bad retirement deal take their money and run- who needs the aggravation.

  4. Julie

    I agree with everyone who posted so far – Daryl (although I keep hoping Foley will fix this), KB, Dean, and HD. Also, I have fingers crossed that Lehner will get another offer and takes it. MAF has done very well for this team. I really can’t see Foley letting him go.

    • Hi Julie – I would like to hope and think your high expectation of Foley hold true, he is probably that type of guy where loyalty means something and a smart business man; however I am not sure it is in his hands anymore. The best hope (fingers crossed) is Lehner takes another offer and the boys upstairs in the big office have to eat crow. I am sure that would bring many smiles to many Knight fans.

      • Julie

        I hear you, HD. :). I am grateful for Foley stopping the kneeling stuff after Reaves and Lehner took Dumba’s (the irony of his name) advice. I read Reaves called Fleury for advice and I didn’t see Fleury in the Reaves/Vancouver protest-photo opp. So, that was good, too. I do wish, if nothing else, Foley reamed out PDB for creating the goalie drama. Totally unnecessary what he did there.

  5. Vic

    A prince of man. He should stay in Las Vegas and run for governor.

  6. The Knights lost in the second round of the playoffs because they took a knee. I thought hockey was more classy . Was I wrong. Did you atheletes forget about our veterans.

    • the hockey god

      you got that right GS

    • 100% agree, Reaves and Lehner embarrassed us. Remember the Cops during the massacre at Mandalay Bay? Foley should of cut both guys immediately. I stopped drinking Reaves beer, I encourage everyone to do so. He’s part owner of a restaurant in town in Downtown Summerlin, I’m never going back. I loved the guy, but fcuk him and Lehner, making millions while I slug it out in the trenches everyday, a working schmuck, and these 2 pricks get to live a life I can only dream of while bitching and complaining and shagging runway models. WTF !!! Ingrates are scum !!

  7. The Knights lost because they took a knee. Karma.

  8. Diana

    I love MAF. I was very disheartened by what transpired. I think he was dealt a low blow. I think he earned the right to be our starting goalie. It’s nothing against Lehner. I think anyone in Vegas understands this…..Lehner just isnt Fleury.

  9. Lehner took a knee also

  10. Antoine

    MAF is the glue that holds the knights together period. And the way they did him was really $##$&$y. And that’s why they lost it was his cup to win or lose. About the business side they should have dealt with that after his cup run not before

  11. Always be grateful what he did in his first year here, it may have been his best individual season but he has came back to reality and is inconsistent like he has been throughout his career. A very average goalie at this point, the organization isn’t dumb enough to let a top 7 goalie in Lehner leave when he is the future for next 5-6 years. It’s written on the wall Fleury is done in Vegas and rightfully so as the last 2 seasons he ranks outside the top 15 goalies in the league, simply not good enough. A franchise will always do what is best for the team and that without a doubt is to move on from Fleury. Thanks for the memories. Now the problem at hand is the offense, better hope to see Knights in trade negotiations for either Lanie or Eichel.

  12. Miri

    Am posting late on this column, but still hoping that perhaps someone up on their stats and news might respond to questions posted later.

    I am on board with the majority of opinion expressed thus far in this and other recent Fleury related articles: Agree that (1) Fleury deserved to have been the #1 goalie in the Knights playoff games, and if DeBoer really wasn’t comfortable with this, he should have stayed with the rotation; (2) The Knights didn’t lose to Dallas because of Lehner, which is not the same as saying that they might not have won with Fleury in net; (3) Lehner may be a fine, sometimes admirable, human being; and (4) While Fleury SHOULD be the #1 or #1A in 2020-21, he is more likely to have this role with a team other than the Knights. 🙁

    But now to add something new to the conversation,by asking questions about the presumed new #1, Lehner. Hopefully some of the news and numbers buffs out there may have some answers. The bottom line questions: (1) Just how likely is Lehner to give consistent play that is good enough to help the Knights win more games? (2) How many games can he play over the course of a season while maintaining this level? and (3) What is the “scuttlebutt” from former team members about his clubhouse presences: is he a plus, neutral or negative?

    Reasons for asking: Lehner’s playoff play, while superb at times, appeared to be somewhat uneven, as despite the overall excellent GAA and SV%, his SV% was 0.900 or less in the majority of his post-season games. Also, worth noting: during Lehner’s outstanding 2018-19 season with the Isles he was in a 1A-1B rotation and appeared in a total of 46 games. Also worth noting: when traded to the Knights, Lehner was open in his complaints about the Black Hawks organization. (Compare with Fleury, who, I believe, notwithstanding one particular agent treat, has generally spoken respectfully of former coaches and organizations, even when he could have raised some legitimate beefs at times.)

    • the hockey god

      it is likely the walrus will get a monster deal from another team and VGK won’t be able to match it

      so all this will be about nothing

      sort of like that seinfeld TV show

      • Julie

        Lol…I had to laugh… “walrus”. I thought I saw a walrus in a Geico commercial using a hockey theme as well.

        • Julie you se that add did and the coach throws the walrus in goal after the stop a fish – then complains no sleepy. One of Geico’s better adds if there is such a thing as good commercials – yes I know they pay big bucks – guess they got their money worth as people remember whether they like the interruptions or not. I forgot to mention glad your parents are doing ok during these crazy times as I recall you made reference to checking them out.

          I wonder just how many more have the same feeling as Mark concerning Reaves and Lehner actions but hesitate to say anything. I objected when it started in football and was very disappointed to see it take place in hockey. Canadian up bringing and x military I guess – you respect and support the country and never disrespect the flag or the people who died protecting it. To me that borders on treason and certainly isn’t allowed in other countries. Is there issues here regarding race etc absolutely – do they need to be addressed yes – in the right way – the media is the biggest offenders just feeding into the situation and fanning the flame – no acceptable excuse for burning, looting and rioting. Hopefully this hockey situation gets ironed out sooner rather than later in a positive way. Keep smiling brighter days ahead.

          • Jinklu

            Sorry I did not see any disrespect of the flag or people who died protecting it. When/where did I miss that?

          • Julie

            HD, thank you. Side note, my Dad (Green Beret & US Army Ranger), stepdad (Green Beret), also have 82nd Airborne and First Cavalry in my close family. All veterans. The flag and anthem are for everyone in this country, as I am sure in Canada, from everyone who supports it and everyone who served/serves. Character matters.

            I guess we’ll know next week what the team will look like for 2020-2021? And I think the regular season still planned for December 1 to start?

      • the hockey god — what would have you believe Lehner will get a monster deal from another team and VGK won’t be able to match it?? Many teams before Vegas where he played let him walk despite his resume Vezina trophy finalist etc. I am sure it would have many Vegas fan happy – maybe some not so – but I seriously doubt it happening that way.

        • Jinklu

          Can we please drop the Vezina finalist with regard to Lehner. That was 2018. This is 2020, soon to be 2021. If there is to be a discussion of the Vezina how about talking about the winners?

          • Daryl

            From someone who served and had his entire family serve it is VERY DISRESPECTFUL. Just because you refuse to see it doesn’t make it true. I have no use for anyone who takes a knee for our NA. I’ve quit watching the NFL and would quit watching the NHL if it comes to it.

  13. At least the Knights took a knee on the ice and not on someone’s neck.

    • Daryl

      You may want to reread the autopsy report…. And to add to it, 3 of the 5 officers were not Caucasians and the white officer was married to a minority… As bad as that situation was you would be ignorant to say it happened due to race

      • Julie

        100% right, Daryl. They also released the bodycam video – way too late – where Floyd asked if he could get on the ground.

        • Daryl

          And you can see in the body cam footage that Floyd was yelling he couldn’t breathe when he was standing up and while they were trying to get him into the vehicle. Its funny, people keep saying why not just put him in the car… well they tried and he fought it as best he could

          • the hockey god

            OBEY THE LAW
            it is a real simple concept

          • Daryl

            HG…
            EXACTLY, thank you.

          • Julie

            Daryl, totally agree with you and also want to thank you for your service. I know first hand what families go through during deployment and I am forever grateful. My best to you and your family.

  14. DJ Barham

    It LVGK could afford to keep them both and split the goaltending duties somewhat evenly, they might be closer to a chance at winning it all imo. Goaltending wins championships. But Fleury could also get them some good prospects for the immediate future. Could be a win-win? Who’ll back-up Lehner then?

    • I agree with you. They worked MAF very hard. He was working more games without rest due to a lack of creditable backup. The whole point I thought was to even the work so all the eggs were not in one basket.

  15. If Fleury goes who will back up Lehner? The emergency goalies in the roster were hardly up for the challenge this past season.. The knights would be stupid to rely on dansk as a surefire back up.. But I suppose they are already.. Theyre not thinking things through here and they look stupid..

  16. Fluery would never take a knee, never spit in our faces, never. I would take 1 Fluery over 100 Lehner’s, who spits in my face and bitches and complains. How about him and Reaves preaching about fatherhood, about stepping up and becoming reliable providers for children. Here’s an idea, Reaves can run around and talk about complying to lawful orders given by police, not being combative, not taking a Cops gun, or his tazer. He was taught that, he has a dad, that’s the problem here, not “racist” Cops !!!

  17. William Swinyer

    While you may be traded against your wishes MAF you will always be our beloved “Flower”!

  18. VGK Nutzo

    What are the chances that lehnert Doesnt take the deal and goes elsewhere AND MAF tells mgmt to pound sand and we end up with NO top tier goalie.. better yet keep the goalies and lose the coach and McCrimmon. Both mismanaged the whole situation

  19. Victoria

    Fleury IS and will ALWAYS be the HEART and the SPIRIT of the Vegas Golden Knights ! It’s a Shame that Foley hired a left over coach DeBoer, Let Beloved Galiant go ! Respect is due to a Awesome Goalie and Man ! FLEURY is Viva Las Vegas ! Much Love and Hugs to you Marc and your Beautiful Vegas Born Family !

  20. Julie

    We need to get a pool going….any bold predictions?

  21. Rich Santomauro

    Lehner should be allowed to leave, Fleury is our goalie for 2 years, find a great young goalie talent and bring him in to back up. I am not seeing the downside to this. They brought Lehner because they didn’t have faith in Subban. Lehner was supposed to give the team more confidence in goal during the playoffs. Personally, I while Lehner was good, he was outplayed in round 3 as well as round 2 in my opinion. Fleury is my choice.

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