clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

On Marc-Andre Fleury, agents, and upheaval in net in Pittsburgh and Vegas

New, comments

Marc-Andre Fleury is having problems in Vegas. The Penguins are having problems in net. Doesn’t take a lot to connect the dots, but are there any to connect?

Vegas Golden Knights v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Three Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

With the Penguins being eliminated and pretty quiet this weekend, one of their former players had an eventful weekend off the ice.

Marc-Andre Fleury’s agent Allan Walsh popped on on Saturday afternoon on twitter posting a pretty clear message, down to coach Peter Doboer’s name on the sword sticking through the goalie.

Fleury has only started two of the Golden Knights’ nine playoff games, one in the round robin round and then just one in the first round. And even that was only likely due to a back-to-back situation. Fleury has been passed up again and his agent at least isn’t going to stand for it.

Greg Wyshynski had a great take and perspective on the events:

Fleury had to talk about it on Sunday, and the tweet was finally removed.

“I just wanted to say that Allan’s been my agent for a long time,” Fleury said. “We’re always very close. I think he’s a guy that always protects, cares about his players and does about me, also.”

The contract aspect angle Wysh talked about makes this interesting. Vegas invested a lot in Fleury, he got a three-year contract extension from 2019-21 which still has two more seasons left on it. And it carries a princely $7.0 million cap hit. Fleury turns 36 in November, which is before next season will start.

It’s a weird position for the agent, goalie and organization to be in. They’re winning games, and doing it behind Robin Lehner. Lehner himself is an impending free agent. And they turned to Lehner because he’s been a better option — Fleury had a .905 save% this season, and it was just a .891 save% in his last 25 regular season starts, undoubtedly a reason why Vegas sought to bring in an accomplished backup like Vokoun.

It’s interesting that Walsh lashed out now. Fleury has been benched before, in 2013 for Tomas Vokoun, in 2016 Matt Murray took over while Fleury was hurt and never looked back and then again in 2017 Murray jumped into the crease for MAF, and the agent was at least quiet on social media. So why now?

And for the organization, Lehner is a free agent. He’s also hasn’t signed a multi-year contract since 2014 and battled addictions and been public in a brave mental health fight. Is that a guy they’re going to rally behind? His play on the ice makes a strong case for it.

As for now, the Knights chug ahead. With Fleury as a distraction, at least to the outward world. MAF said the right things now, but his agent’s post stayed up for almost a full day. Message sent, and received. Everyone knows Fleury as a graceful teammate but his agent put him in a bad spot here.

The cherry on top is to tie this all to the Penguins’ unsettled goalie situation, with Murray’s status uncertain. But it seems almost impossible and unrealistic for Pittsburgh to take a 36-year old fading goalie with a $7 million cap hit. The cap situation is a big enough problem as it is.

But if Vegas takes an extreme step to buyout Fleury — or, maybe, dare to dream — an interest in Jack Johnson, I guess “never say never” fits the bill.

For hockey, this is a huge irony is that the Pens sent Vegas a 2020 second round pick way back in 2017 in the expansion draft, to have piece of mind for Fleury and themselves that the Golden Knights would go ahead and take MAF in the expansion draft. That pick still hasn’t happened. It might happen after Fleury’s stint in Vegas ends.

Hell, it might happen after Murray’s stint in Pittsburgh ends! Sometimes, you just never know.

It seems crazy to think Marc-Andre Fleury, after his grand farewell, would be an option for the Pens again. Then again, it’s crazy that his agent just put Fleury’s coach’s name on a bloody sword, so who the hell knows any more?

The only thing certain is that it could get more interesting as events unfold.

Poll

How would you feel when it comes to Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins and even the chance of a reunion in Pittsburgh:

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    No way, no how. Don’t want it to happen and/or won’t happen anyways
    (244 votes)
  • 13%
    I’d like it to happen but I don’t think it would be possible
    (252 votes)
  • 22%
    Only if Vegas bought him out and it was cheap FA signing
    (413 votes)
  • 39%
    Only if the Pens could unload Jack Johnson or Vegas retained heavy salary in a trade
    (729 votes)
  • 11%
    I hope they bring Fleury back, regardless of the cost (full contract, trade, whatever)!
    (218 votes)
1856 votes total Vote Now