Marc-Andre Fleury will be staying with the Golden Knights, general manager Kelly McCrimmon said Monday night.
Following a postseason that put his future with the franchise in question, Fleury will be part of the Vegas roster heading into training camp.
“We see the goaltending position being incredibly important this year,” McCrimmon said. “Our goalies will be Robin and Marc-Andre. We all expect a schedule that’s going to be extremely compressed. And it’s easy for us to talk about it. Everybody expects that. But when you begin to live it, I think that the importance of two goaltenders is really going to be valuable.”
McCrimmon did say that internally they looked at different possibilities, but with NHL teams going towards a 1A/1B setup, this was the best solution — for now.
Of course, this is a GM speaking and things can change with a phone call. But you wonder if this is the tandem for next season, is there a number of starts that will keep Fleury — and his agent — happy? Head coach Peter DeBoer made it clear in the playoffs that Lehner was his choice, and that ended up with some creative Allan Walsh Photoshop.
Staying cap compliant
Keeping Fleury, who carries a $7M cap hit and limited no-trade clause, has salary cap ramifications. As of Tuesday, the Golden Knights are over the ceiling after trading Nate Schmidt and signing Alex Pietrangelo. McCrimmon emphasized they will be cap compliant by the start of next season, meaning more moves are coming.
Fleury said last month that he wants to stay in Vegas and that he gets along great with Lehner. Any rift between the two wasn’t something McCrimmon believed and he has full confidence the duo.
“I don’t think internally it was ever the issue that it was made out to be, and I don’t expect that it would be an issue going into the season or during the season,” he said. “Believe me, if it was, we would have made different decisions than we made. But I don’t expect that that’s the case.”