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Fleury’s Streak Unmatched in Pro Sports

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

There’s not much Marc-Andre Fleury hasn’t accomplished over his NHL career. Part of five Stanley Cup Finals and winner of three of them, the 35-year-old goaltender has been fortunate to play on competitive teams for most of his career, but here’s something fans and I doubt even Fleury is aware of.

Fleury currently holds the longest active playoff streak of any individual player across the four major sports leagues in North America. This postseason will mark Fleury’s 14th consecutive trip to the playoffs, a streak unmatched by even Tom Brady, LeBron James, and Sidney Crosby.

Fleury played in his first NHL playoff series at the age of 22 back in 2007, and he hasn’t missed a postseason yet.

Marc-Andre Fleury’s Playoff Run

14 Straight Postseasons
142 Games Played
78-62 Postseason Record
4176 Saves
3 Assists
5 Stanley Cup Appearances
3 Stanley Cup Rings

Most would’ve assumed that Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were on the same path, but both missed the entire 2011 postseason due to injuries. Another former teammate Chris Kunitz was ahead of Fleury but broke his streak last year as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. So currently, the Golden Knights goaltender leads the entire league in appearances in 14 straight postseasons.

The athlete that is the closest to Fleury plays in the NBA. It’ll shock you. New Orleans Pelicans sharpshooter J.J. Redick is technically tied with Fleury with appearances in 13 straight postseasons. However, in the NBA’s loopy return-to-play format, Redick and the Pelicans have eight regular season games, and then some to clinch a playoff bid. So while Fleury is already locked in at 14 consecutive, Redick still has some hurdles to jump.

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Potential Realignment Shouldn’t Affect Golden Knights

The NHL pause has become the newest, most addicting daily soap opera. Every morning fans wake up to read the latest news on the NHL’s plans to restart the season. Yesterday, Commissioner Gary Bettman shared his optimism with the NHL network.

We have a great deal of flexibility in terms of when we can start. There’s no magic for next season of starting in October as we traditionally do. If we have to start in November or December, that’s something that will be under consideration. We’re going to try and make good, prudent, careful judgments. This isn’t a race to be first back. When we come back, we want it to be at the right time, for the right reasons, under the right circumstances. -Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner

Now that the players and owners are engaging in daily conversations it shows the effort to recover the season from both sides. One scenario NHL officials have mulled over was originally conceived by Major League Baseball.

MLB is considering a three-division, 10-team plan in which teams play only within their division – a concept gaining support among owners and executives. It would abolish the traditional American and National Leagues, and realign the divisions based on geography.

The plan, pending approval of medical experts and providing that COVID-19 testing is available to the public, would eliminate the need for players to be in isolation and allow them to still play at their home ballparks while severely reducing travel. -USA Today

TSN’s Bob McKenzie weighed on the possibility of the NHL taking the realignment approach, specifically reducing travel which allows players to play in locations closer to their homes and families.

If they get four sites, and we kind of assumed it would try to be done divisionally if they try to get the 19-20 season finished up. Four NHL sites, one for each division. There is the possibility that they would just say ‘well the Atlantic division is going to based out of Toronto. We’re not going to do can’t that, Florida and Tampa Bay can’t get from Florida up to Toronto. We’ll put them with some of the Metro teams, and move one of those Metro teams.’ You could do some mixing and matching on geographical lines versus divisions. -Bob McKenzie, TSN Analyst

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Old School Thinkers Will Never Understand, But It Won’t Stop Vegas From Success

MLB analyst Peter Gammons is a lot of things. Gammons is a historian, he’s a musician, he’s a philanthropist, and he’s a Hall of Famer. However, one thing Gammons freely admits he isn’t, is a sports progressive. Gammons was interviewed this week and admitted he’s concerned about the NHL expanding to Las Vegas.

I can’t wait to see what happens with the National Hockey League in Las Vegas. I’m skeptical. I’m skeptical about the growth of the area, the long-term demographics. I’m not a huge expansion fan. -Peter Gammons

Gammons is clearly a purist and doesn’t believe leagues should expand. Speaking with MLB in mind, he personally isn’t in favor of either league expanding to Las Vegas. Gammons fears that leagues have stretched themselves too thin.

I fought back originally when they started the expansion in the early ’90s that it was a huge mistake. What it did was, it took away markets that would allow teams to be able to threaten communities and extort them for ballparks, and I think that they’ve essentially driven the prices of players up so much…

You could argue that MLB was better before the 90’s expansion. Colorado, Tampa, Arizona, and Miami have all had some success but they’re not making or breaking the league. The Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox and Cardinals still rule baseball. The NHL on the other hand, is arguably a better league since the 90’s and 2000’s expansion. Even more hockey markets like Minnesota, Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Columbus have teams now. Also, the league has done a good job growing the sport in non-traditional markets like Nashville, California, and Arizona.

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