Grant Fuhr is one of the greatest goalies to ever play in the NHL. He’s a five-time Stanley Cup Champion and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2003. Fuhr played for 19 years between 1981 and 2000, starting more than 850 games and winning more than 400.
To put it politely, there’s nothing in the game of hockey that Grant Fuhr hasn’t seen. That being said, even he was surprised by the Golden Knights’ decision to add Robin Lehner at the deadline. Still an NHL connoisseur (he says he watches multiple games a week), Fuhr said he never saw the trade coming and had to do a bit of a double-take when he first heard it, but as much as he was surprised, he thought about how it must have felt for Marc-Andre Fleury.
Oh it’ll be a shock to the system. There’s no doubt about that. If you don’t see it coming, it will definitely catch you off guard. -Fuhr
Over Fuhr’s time in Edmonton, he said the GM was constantly bringing in goalies to try and compete with him, but he knew as long as he was healthy no one was beating him out. The same has not been the case for Fleury in Vegas who has had Malcolm Subban behind him the entire time. That being said, Fuhr says the best players in the NHL are “immune” to surprises like this affecting their performance. Fleury did well in proving that right about an hour after Grant said it shutting Fuhr’s old team in his first post-deadline start.
Fleury’s been down this road before though. Matt Murray was between the pipes in the clinching game for two of Fleury’s three Stanley Cup victories. The addition of Lehner to the Golden Knights makes the possibility of this happening a third time much more realistic than it was a week ago. Fuhr was in the goal for the first four of his Cup wins, but he was out injured for the entire back half of the regular season and whole postseason for his fifth.
They are all the same. You’re there in the regular season, you are around the guys the whole year. I view mine exactly the same. -Fuhr
The shiny Edmonton Oilers 1990 Stanley Cup champions ring on his finger while making that statement served as strong validation.
But there was one concern Fuhr had with the Golden Knights situation, and that’s the coaching realignment. He hadn’t heard the news, so when I explained that the Golden Knights goalie coach, Dave Prior, was being relocated to Ontario and Mike Rosati was set to take over the day-to-day operations in Vegas working with Fleury and Lehner, he gave me a bit of a side-eye.
There’s something going on there. To make a change this late in the season, especially after adding another goalie at the deadline. That’s something to keep an eye on. -Fuhr