The past months have been an intense roller-coaster ride goalie Marc-Andre Fleury did not enjoy. The veteran netminder’s name was mentioned more than once in previous trade chatter, so much so that Fleury himself thought he’d be on the move.
Finally, after signing goalie Robin Lehner to a five-year contract and making a huge splash on the free agent market by inking Alex Pietrangelo and trading other players, the Vegas Golden Knights announced that they would keep both Lehner and Fleury on their roster for the upcoming season.
What a relief for Flower, who spoke to the Journal de Montreal on Thursday to express his feelings about the situation.
“I haven’t spoken to anyone, they don’t talk much, Fleury answered in French when asked if he got confirmation from GM Kelly McCrimmon other than his press conference. “Like everyone I saw Kelly’s press conference in which he said he’s counting on Lehner and I.
“I found it to be a surprising ending to the situation. My name kept surfacing in trade rumours. But I’m happy. I have the chance to stay in Vegas. I will keep playing for a good team. I won’t have to move, which is also a good thing.”
While Flower is thrilled to be staying a member of the goaltending duo with Lehner, the 35-year-old admitted to the Journal that the last days have been quite hard on him mentally.
“For the past two weeks, I've found it difficult,” he explained. I was stressed. I was watching the news, it wasn't always good rumours about me. There are always a ton of rumours, but they rarely come true. These were uncertain times.
"You are also starting to think about where you might end up. And you start to make up scenarios. You’re thinking of selling your house, buying a new one. Finding a new school for the little ones and many other things. Now that I'm staying in Vegas, I can relax.”
While Fleury wants to focus on hockey and the upcoming season, he is well too aware that the trade chatter might resurface at some point.
"I understand the reality of hockey. It's still a business. There is now a lot of money invested in two goalies.”
And we will see how long the Golden Knights are with that investment.