This had the subtlety of a Mike Tyson roundhouse.
Marc-Andre Fleury’s agent, Allan Walsh, tweeted a picture of his client with a sword in his back. Written on the sword was “DeBoer”, the last name of Las Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer.
Clearly, Walsh is not happy that Fleury will not be in net to start the Golden Knights’ semifinal Stanley Cup playoffs series against the Canucks on Sunday night. Fleury reportedly has remained with the team and Las Vegas isn’t expected to comment on the post.
Fleury, who has lost his job to former Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner, has been a big part of the Las Vegas franchise. He led it to the Stanley Cup final in its first season and was a top-five finisher for the Vezina Trophy the past two seasons. But this year, he had his lowest save percentage (.905) since 2009-10 while a member of the Penguins, and lost his father in November.
Lehner, meanwhile, was acquired initially to backup Fleury in February from the Blackhawks and has thrived for Las Vegas, notching a .904 save percentage in the postseason, compared to Fleury’s .886.
— Allan Walsh (@walsha) August 22, 2020
“Chicago had two No. 1 goaltenders,” Knights GM Kelly McCrimmon told ESPN. “We liked the makeup of our team. We did not feel like we had enough support behind Marc-Andre. That was the motivation for the deal.”
In round-robin play, Lehner acquitted himself well in two starts while Fleury allowed four goals against just 17 shots, leading Las Vegas to start Lehner in the opener of its quarterfinal series against the Blackhawks. He went on to start four of the five games in the series victory.
“A tough decision when you have two quality starting goaltenders,” coach Knights coach DeBoer said at the time. “The best way I can explain it is that it wasn’t what ‘Flower’ didn’t do. It’s what Robin has done since they got here. I think he’s 5-0 in the numbers. But not just the numbers. I think he got here, came into our camp after the pause and was lights out in all of our scrimmages. This isn’t a case of one guy not getting the job done. This is just one guy just being fantastic.”