When Team Canada announced its list of players invited to their orientation camp, five goaltenders were included and none of them were Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury.
It looks like after years of struggling in the playoffs, his country has serious concerns about how he might perform internationally.
“The Olympic thing, I’m not going to make too much of,” Penguins GM Ray Shero told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “But if he takes something personal, good for him.”
Being excluded from orientation camp doesn’t necessarily mean that Fleury won’t make the team, but he’ll have a particularly tough time. After all, if his performance in the playoffs is truly the problem, then that might be an unsolvable issue because he won’t get another shot at postseason redemption until after the Olympics.
Fleury might get off to a strong start in 2013-14, but his regular season performance has been adequate to great over the last few years anyways.
“The playoffs are the question mark he’s had the past four years,” Shero said. “I think it’s probably something on his mind.”
Perhaps Fleury will take the snub personally and that will be the motivation he needs going forward, even if it might be too late at this point for him to earn an Olympic spot.
Now that Jonathan Bernier is off the market, one of the teams that was in hot pursuit of him could turn their attention to another French-Canadian stopper.
Michael Russo of The Star Tribune reports the Minnesota Wild have inquired with the Pittsburgh Penguins about their maligned goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. The Wild were one of three teams believed to be in the final race for Bernier, but now that he’s off to Toronto the Wild and GM Chuck Fletcher have to look elsewhere.
Minnesota could just re-sign their own unrestricted free agent in Niklas Backstrom and stop their search, but their pursuit of Bernier indicates they’re headed in a different direction in goal. With the money the team has invested in Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, skimping on goaltending would seem like a bad idea.
On Friday, it was revealed that the Scotiabank Saddledome (aka the home of the Calgary Flames) suffered serious damage from the massive flooding in the area.
Those photos shared the impact directly outside the arena, but Theo Fleury Tweeted a grainy-yet-stunning photo of what it looks like on the inside on Saturday:
The Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis reports that the locker room, equipment and possibly the Jumbotron were damaged in the process.
Canada.com has a few more photos of the arena taking on water.
Here’s some flooding footage in video form from the Associated Press by way of USA Today:
Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury collapsed in the playoffs for the second straight year and this time he was ultimately replaced by Tomas Vokoun.
Still, Penguins GM Ray Shero hasn’t given up on him.
“I’m not getting rid of Marc-Andre Fleury,” said Shero, “provided he wants to be part of it here and come back.”
So does he want to come back? His agent, Allan Walsh, answered that question in no uncertain terms.
“Marc-Andre Fleury is a Pittsburgh Penguin, he loves the club, the city, his teammates and the fans,” Walsh tweeted. “He does not want to be anywhere else.”
Tomas Vokoun is also under the Penguins’ control, but he’ll probably fall back into the role of Fleury’s understudy.
“Fleury is our No. 1 goalie and will be moving forward,” Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said. “He is a guy who will come back to this team.”
That effectively closes the book on this debate. At least for now.
One of many disappointments in the playoffs for the Pittsburgh Penguins was the play of starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. He struggled in the first-round against the Islanders and wound up benched in favor of veteran backup Tomas Vokoun.
With rumors circulating about Fleury possibly being bought out this summer, Pens coach Dan Bylsma made his feelings very apparent on where he stands during today’s locker clear-out day.
“Fleury is our No. 1 goalie and will be moving forward,” Bylsma told reporters. “He is a guy who will come back to this team.”
So what about Tomas Vokoun’s role next season? Bylsma says his role won’t change as the backup because “Marc-Andre Fleury’s going to be in there winning games.”
With such stern votes of confidence in Fleury’s ability you wonder where this support was for him during the playoffs. The way this looks, it seems like they want to run him for political office and not starting goalie.