With the typical smile on his face, Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Marc-Andre Fleury reminded us that he is, indeed a Chicago Blackhawks goalie.
In a photo posted to Twitter by RVA sports reporter Renaud Lavoie, Fleury participated in NHL media day in full Chicago uniform.
This is just wrong https://t.co/X6eyNn9Za2
— J🍩ey Bag 🍩f D🍩nuts 🍩 (@joeybagovdonuts) September 16, 2021
Yes, even Pittsburgh Twitter personality Joey Bag of Donuts sympathized with the Vegas Golden Knights loss.
Last month, the Golden Knights finally shed salary and solved their goalie controversy by choosing 30-year-old Robin Lehner over the 36-year-old Fleury. Despite some assurances Fleury previously received that he would remain in Las Vegas, Golden Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon dealt the wildly popular goalie to Chicago.
Adding to the hurt feelings, Fleury learned of the trade via social media. McCrimmon said the organization apprised the Fleury camp of ongoing talks, but that didn’t seem to lessen the impact.
“It’s not a lack of regard for players,” McCrimmon said after the deal. “Again, in this situation, Marc-Andre was fully abreast of discussions all the way through, not just in relation to the team that he ended up being traded to–the Chicago Blackhawks–but any other conversations that I had previously.”
The trade set off a multi-week-long drama. Would Marc-Andre Fleury report to Chicago? Would the Pittsburgh Penguins re-engage trade talks for the beloved goalie? Most of it proved to be smoke and not fire as Fleury sold his house outside Las Vegas, Pittsburgh was not interested in a reunion, Fleury accepted the trade to Chicago as he and family moved to the Windy City.
Chicago was busy this offseason. They acquired defensemen Seth Jones and Jake McCabe. Chicago also acquired Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson.
But yeah, we hear you. Seeing Fleury another jersey just isn’t cool. Perhaps Vegas Golden Knights fans will join the Pittsburgh Penguins fans in the Missing Fleury club.