Fleury inks three-year ex­ten­sion with Knights

The Niagara Falls Review - - Sports - W.G. RAMIREZ

LAS VEGAS — It didn’t take long for Marc-An­dre Fleury to fall in love with his new home­town dur­ing his first sea­son in goal with the Vegas Golden Knights.

Now, it looks as though he’ll spend the rest of his ca­reer here.

The Knights agreed to terms Fri­day with the three-time Stan­ley Cup cham­pion on a three­year con­tract ex­ten­sion worth an av­er­age of $7 mil­lion a year.

Fleury had one year re­main­ing on his con­tract. The ex­ten­sion would keep him with Vegas through the 2021-22 sea­son, mean­ing the 33-year-old could end his ca­reer with the Knights.

“This or­ga­ni­za­tion gave me a chance to play, to play a lot of games, they be­lieved in me,” Fleury said dur­ing a news con­fer­ence to an­nounce the deal. “The suc­cess that we had over the sea­son, win­ning al­ways makes every­thing bet­ter. And then the fans, how much they sup­ported us right from day one. They were crazy all sea­son long and the play­offs were a lot of fun to play. We could re­ally feel the in­ten­sity in the build­ing from the fans.”

The Golden Knights se­lected Fleury in the 2017 ex­pan­sion draft from the Pen­guins. He won 29 games last sea­son, in­clud­ing the 400th vic­tory of his ca­reer. He reg­is­tered the best sta­tis­ti­cal reg­u­lar sea­son of his ca­reer with a goals-against av­er­age of 2.24 and a save per­cent­age of .927. He has 404 ca­reer wins in 737 games be­tween Pitts­burgh (691 games) and Vegas (46) and ranks 11th in vic­to­ries in NHL his­tory.

Fleury helped the Golden Knights to the Pa­cific Di­vi­sion ti­tle and an ap­pear­ance in the 2018 Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal in their in­au­gu­ral sea­son. He ap­peared in all 20 games for the Golden Knights in the play­offs, where Vegas’ sto­ry­book sea­son ended with a loss to the Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals in the Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal.

The three-time All-Star said get­ting the ex­ten­sion out of the way now elim­i­nated dis­trac­tions he’s ex­pe­ri­enced in the past.

“It’s al­ways some­thing I wanted and like to do, so when the sea­son starts you’re not think­ing about the ru­mours, where you can be traded to, I’ve been through that al­ready. Just to have that se­cu­rity to be here for a long time was big for me.”

Just as he did at the time of the ex­pan­sion draft, gen­eral man­ager Ge­orge McPhee said he took the ad­vice of goal­tender coach Dave Prior to lock up Fleury.

“When we made the ex­pan­sion draft play for Marc-An­dre, our staff and Dave Prior be­lieved that we could get him play­ing as well as he’s ever played and even bet­ter, and that’s ex­actly what hap­pened,” McPhee said. “Dave went to work with Marc-An­dre and Marc-An­dre was open-minded and worked with Dave and had a ter­rific sea­son.

“At Dave’s ad­vice we thought a three-year ex­ten­sion was the ap­pro­pri­ate ex­ten­sion in terms of time. Marc-An­dre is a very ath­letic, very quick, very ag­ile goal­tender. Not one of the big, lum­ber­ing hit me goal­tenders, and we could get four very good years from Marc. The deal was there to be done, so we thought it was the right time to do it.”


Marc-An­dre Fleury would like to fin­ish his ca­reer in Las Vegas.

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