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Marc-Andre Fleury
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Do The Golden Knights Want To Bring Back Marc-Andre Fleury?

Marc-Andre Fleury
Robin Lehner has a serious shoulder injury that will likely require surgery. Are the Golden Knights entertaining a reunion for Marc-Andre Fleury? It appears that way. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Do The Golden Knights Want To Bring Back Marc-Andre Fleury?

Kelly McCrimmon isn’t messing around. There has not been a more aggressive general manager in the sport acquiring the likes of Alex Pietrangelo, Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, and Jack Eichel in a very short period of time. Vegas has now been looking into a reunion with the beloved Marc-Andre Fleury?

No, that can’t be right. Just months ago, Vegas offloaded Fleury in a cost-cutting measure so they had the ability to upgrade their offense. Later, of course, that became Eichel. Now that the offense has sort of been taken care of, the Golden Knights still have a major issue. They never adequately replaced Fleury in the first place.

Robin Lehner is a fine goalie and probably deserved a shot to take on the lion’s share of work. It never made a ton of sense to commit that much money to Lehner and Fleury at the same time. Laurent Brossoit has actually done an okay job in relief too.

The problem is Lehner. He’s frankly just not that good or hasn’t been this season. Now we know why.

Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff has reported that Lehner is hurt again. This time it’s “upper-body” but sources indicate it’s a torn shoulder labrum that will eventually require surgery. Uh oh.

“While all eyes are fixed on Jack Eichel, who is set to make his Golden Knights debut on Wednesday against the best-in-West Colorado Avalanche thanks in part to a timely injury, there is perhaps a more interesting situation brewing in the Vegas crease.

GM Kelly McCrimmon indicated on Monday that goaltender Robin Lehner has an “upper-body” injury, which sources say is a torn labrum in his shoulder that will eventually require surgery. Lehner underwent a procedure in the same shoulder in Oct. 2020. He may be able to battle through to finish this season, though that much is not certain.

Because of that uncertainty, McCrimmon and the Golden Knights have been working the phones to gauge the availability of goaltenders around the league.

Team sources say the Golden Knights have expressed interest in a potential reunion with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

First, Fleury is not alone on a list of potential targets. Per sources, the Golden Knights have also expressed interest in New York Rangers backup Alexandar Georgiev, who we previously reported let it be known that Georgiev feels he’s ready for a bigger opportunity elsewhere. There are likely others.”

There is a lot to unpack here. Some of which Seravalli covers in his post. I just don’t necessarily agree with all of his points.

A: Would Fleury want to return to Vegas?

The answer is yes. It’s not really a question. It shouldn’t have to be asked. Did anybody see the waterworks Fleury had in his return to Vegas? C’mon. Not a question.

B: Why would Vegas want Fleury back?

That’s the better question. The Knights fan base was not happy when they moved on from Fleury in the first place. Especially when you consider a lot of his money was used to eventually pick up that bum Evgenii Dadonov.

Fleury got off to a rocky start in Chicago but has been much better as of late. Fleury, 37, has posted a .918 save percentage since Derek King took over in the early stages of November. Given the familiarity with the teammates in front of him, Fleury is the best option on the trade market.

C: Can The Knights Actually Get A Deal Done?

Sure, why not? While Fleury doesn’t have a no-move clause, Chicago will likely do the right thing at this point. It’s a Claude Giroux situation. Go ahead and take the best deal but do right by me. Given all the allegations Chicago is dealing with, dealing Fleury to an undesirable location isn’t in their best interests. If Fleury pushes for a return to Vegas, he’s going back to the Knights. McCrimmon won’t go cheap. His mantra has been aggressive.

The money should take care of itself. Putting Lehner on the LTIR will clear $5 million in salary. Fleury makes $7 million but is in the final year of his contract. Having Chicago retain salary will not affect them in the long run. The Knights have already done all they can with cutting costs. This Mark Stone injury is going to serve as the cheese they needed to duck below the cap come playoff time.

D: If Not Fleury, Then Who?

Georgiev is an option and I’m sure the Rangers would be willing to tango if the price is right. Igor Shesterkin is having the year of god so there’s no reason to entertain any split of playing time. Others include Braden Holtby, Anton Khudobin, Semyon Varlamov, Jonathan Quick, and Joonas Korpisalo.

Maybe this isn’t the wisest option but handing the keys to Laurent Brossoit is an option. Especially considering that Logan Thompson is posting a .925 save percentage with the Henderson Silver Knights. Thompson deserves a closer look even if he holds his stick in the wrong hand.

A Marc-Andre Fleury return to Vegas has a storybook type of ending feel to it. The Knights have done an unreal job of building a Cup winning roster in a very short period of time. Having Fleury win one in Vegas feels too right not to happen. As the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline nears, a Fleury reunion looks like a very real possibility.

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