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Wild Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury Is 8 Wins From Passing Patrick Roy For 2nd Place On The All-time List – News18


Last Updated: October 12, 2023, 05:00 IST

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When MarcAndre Fleury arrived at Minnesota Wild training camp for a 20th season of NHL netminding, he wasn’t ready to publicly declare or even make a decision privately that this will be his last.

ST. PAUL, Minn.: When Marc-Andre Fleury arrived at Minnesota Wild training camp for a 20th season of NHL net-minding, he wasn’t ready to publicly declare — or even make a decision privately — that this will be his last.

Fleury could hardly be faulted for feeling a little more sentimental this fall.

The three-time Stanley Cup winner will turn 39 on Nov. 28, and he’s playing on an expiring contract. Fellow Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson just signed a three-year, $11.25 million deal, and top prospect Jesper Wallstedt is waiting for a promotion after spending last season in the AHL. Then there’s his wife and three children — ages 4, 8 and 10 — he’d love to have more time with.

As Fleury contemplated his future during the summer, he promised himself he’d finish the season first before making a decision so he can be fully present to the team and his role. The ups and downs are a given, so there’s no point in putting too much emphasis on one performance.

“See how it goes, see how I feel physically, mentally, if I still can stop the puck, and just make a decision at the end,” Fleury said. “I don’t want to think about it, think too much every game, like, ‘Oh, it’s going good, I’ll play again. It’s going bad, I don’t want to play anymore.’”

Fleury had a 2.85 goals against average last season, the fifth-worst of his career. The unquestioned regular a year ago, Fleury found his playing time reduced by the emergence of Gustavsson after his arrival in a trade with Ottawa. After using a true tandem down the stretch, the Wild started Gustavsson in five of the six games in their first-round loss to Dallas in the playoffs.

“I love playing with Gus. He’s a great guy, great partner, very deserving,” Fleury said. “We’ll see what the coach wants. I guess we’ll see, but I like to play. It’s always fun, more fun than sitting, but Gus likes to play, too. So whatever the coach says, I’ll do my best to help the team if it’s on the bench or in the net.”

Coach Dean Evason, speaking to reporters after practice on Wednesday, declined to reveal the starter for the first game. The Wild open the season at home against Florida on Thursday.

Make no mistake about Fleury’s desire to be in the net more. There’s no ill will toward Gustavsson.

“My partners, I never see them as competition. To me, the competition is with the other shooters, the puck. That’s where I need to win the battle,” Fleury said.

The first overall pick in the 2003 draft, who was acquired in a trade with Chicago at the 2022 deadline and re-signed with Minnesota that summer for two years and $7 million, can find motivation in the NHL record book, too. With eight more wins, Fleury will pass Patrick Roy (551) for second place on the all-time list. Martin Brodeur (691) is the leader. Fleury grew up in Quebec as a fan of both French Canadians.

“I don’t want to jinx it. That would be cool, though. He’s such an icon to me and to many kids,” Fleury said. “He’s such a great goalie, it would be an honor just to be mentioned in the same sentence with him.”

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)



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