Fleury is a Rock Star in Vegas
By Patrick Hoffman
I admit that I was skeptical when goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was taken in the expansion draft by the Vegas Golden Golden Knights.
At the time, I thought that may be Fleury was too old to be the face of the new franchise and I was also concerned that may be he was not the right guy to be the main man in net. He was a guy that had been replace by Matt Murray in Pittsburgh and Murray ended up helping win the team two straight Cups.
Boy was I flat out wrong. Fleury is a rock star in Vegas. He was an All-Star who took his team to the Final and on Friday, he signed a 3-year extension at $7 million a year.
While this may be a risky contract to give out to someone who is 33-years-old, to me, this is an awesome contract for several reasons. For starters, he showed that he really is a great goaltender that has never gotten the credit he deserves.
This past season, he was unbelievable between the pipes. He had 29 wins and posted a a 2.24 GAA with a .927 save percentage and four shutouts.
Not only was he great in the regular season, but he was also incredible in the postseason. He won 13 games and posted a 2.24 GAA, a .927 save percentage and picked-up another four shutouts. Had Vegas won the Cup, he would have easily won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the league's most valuable player in the playoffs.
With all of that said, I don't think this was strictly a hockey move. Rather, I think it is about having him still be the face of the franchise and also having him be the de facto leader of this hockey club.
This guy's personality is awesome. He's funny, he's unbelievably relaxed, and he is someone that will always talk to you, win or lose.
He's also someone that is very visible in the community. He came to Vegas and made it home by getting extremely involved off the ice and showing the franchise that he is the guy to lean on to make Vegas a hockey community both on and off the ice.
The Golden Knights continue to make all the right moves and with Fleury locked up for another three seasons, this team will continue to be looked as a formidable Cup contender.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.