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The Sports Daily > The Pensblog
Vegas Takes Fleury

So I’m going to out myself here as a lover of romantic comedies right now (sorry guys, but in addition to Miracle I’m big on Notting Hill) but I don’t care. There’s a line in one I think really fits the Fleury situation from the expansion draft. It’s from the Rom-Com staring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, “You’ve Got Mail” and it does like this, “People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they’re really saying is that something you didn’t want to happen at all… has happened.”

I feel like this explains how many Penguins fans feel about tonight. It’s something we knew was going to happen and even something that must. Because at the end of the day, hockey is a business. The train went off the tracks in 2009 when Ray Shero got too attached to his cup winning team. Things go wrong when you attach too much to a player. Sometimes they’re going to cost too much for you and sometimes they simply aren’t going to fill the role they did when their deal was signed.

So Marc-Andre Fleury, on the 14 year anniversary of being drafted first overall, was drafted again. This time he was the second-last-guy taken in the expansion draft (this is because the draft “order” was set by where teams finished last year in the regular season). This time, his jersey was already on when he walked on stage. This time, two of his now former teammates had to sit and endure cameras on their faces as he stood up there and talked about leaving them. This time he isn’t an 18-year-old kid who uses Max Talbot as a translator.

No, a lot has changed in the 14 years Fleury was in Pittsburgh. He made a name for himself. He’s won the Cup three times and been an All-Star more than once. He’s married. He has two small daughters who wear his jersey with the word Daddy on the back. And he saw his crease taken by the young netminder he mentored from the first day they met. This isn’t an indictment of Fleury, Murray, or the team. Things happen. New teams come in and so do new players. So Vegas took Fleury, and just to be sure they did the Penguins threw in a second rounder in 2020. They’re the only team to have traded a pick that far away in their expansion draft deal with the Golden Knights.

Things here for Fleury weren’t always perfect. He arrived when the team was terrible. He went through the yips something awful in 2012 and 2013. He made you nervous sometimes when he went on adventures behind the net. But he never made you wonder if he cared. He was always 100% there for his teammates and always worked hard. He was the exact kind of goalie the Penguins needed when Geno and Sid came in. He was part of the group that grew up here together. And now, he’s going to lead a new group of guys. Some who he has played with like David Perron, James Neal, and Deryk Engelland. Some he hasn’t like Chris Thorburn. But he will be a leader in the desert.

Fleury will be their face. He will be on posters. He will sell tickets and he will be loved there. But he will never be forgotten in Pittsburgh, where his waiving of his No Movement Clause in February allowed the team the flexibility to chase and win that third Championship. He might wear a knight’s helmet now Vegas, but he’s always going to have a Penguin tattooed on his heart. And this city will always have him tattooed on theirs.

 

I mean even the Penguins have a Flower in their Twitter profile right now:

4 thoughts on “Vegas Takes Fleury

  1. Fleury deserves EVERYTHING good that comes his way. I had a huge smile on my face and goosebumps when he was picked and the place went nuts…dare I say maybe started to shed a tear. He’s just too good a person to root against. Like if he shuts out the pens next year during the regular season I’d be totally cool with that….and I’m nuts when it comes to winning and losing…I wanna win legit every game but if the pens went 80-2-0 next year and the two losses were to Fleury I’d have no problems with that at all. Not many if any former players I’d be okay with that but he definitely deserves it. Vegas made a great choice and all the people who think Vegas is gonna flip him is just crazy. Vegas NEEDS someone EXACTLY like Fleury who is a good player AND a good locker room guy. The Golden Knights are more respectable as a team with Fleury than with out him. PLUS they can market the shit out of him. He’s gonna get his 400th win next year so that’ll bring people to see it…and if he re signs there’s a possibility he gets to 450 which would put him like 6th or 7th ALL TIME in wins. That’s the perfect thing for an expansion franchise to get people excited and in the seats especially if the team isn’t the good in the beginning. This is a win win for everyone involved. The pens had to move him because of his cap hit and because of Murray…Vegas has a marketable player who fans can identify with AND is about to hit some ALL TIME milestones in the next couple years that they can market…and finally Fleury who will get to continue being a number one goalie going forward…so everyone should be happy. And if you don’t think Vegas won’t be making millions on the potential milestones Fleury may reach think about this….if Fleury gets to 450 wins and they sell a Fleury bobblehead with 450 on it would you buy it? Cause I know I would.

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  2. I like Fleury as much as the next guy. I was one of his unwavering fanboy supporters during his bad playoff runs. But, people need to stop acting like the guy died. He was an all around great player for the Penguins and he’ll be missed by everyone. I get that. It doesn’t change the fact that people need to just get over it. Move on. Our backup goalie left. Boo-freakin-hoo.

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