Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Marc-Andre Fleury Says Goodbye To Pittsburgh

from Sam Kasan of PittsburghPenguins.com,

Marc-Andre Fleury arrived at PPG Paints Arena Thursday afternoon for cleanout day knowing that this will likely be the last time he ever steps foot inside the Pens locker room.

Fleury, who has spent the past 12-plus seasons as the Pens' franchise goaltender, has a face - and a smile - that has become as synonymous with Pittsburgh hockey as Sidney Crosby or Mario Lemieux.

"It's been such a long time, a great ride," Fleury, 32, said. "I've met a lot of good people. This feels like home for me."

Fleury has tried his best not to think of the future, wherever that may be. The emotions are too strong.

"I tried not to too much because as you can see, I'm struggling with this," Fleury said with red eyes. "I just tried to enjoy the moment. I tried to remember the good times."

continued

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: marc-andre+fleury

Comments

ilovehomers's avatar

He got the shaft this year, although they won so its hard to argue with the move.

Overall, he has shown to be quite an average goaltender on some superstar teams. 3 cups, 2 as a backup. And Vokoun saved the playoff run in 09.

Wins are a team stat. Wins are what simpletons look at. Wins make Osgood look like he’s in the same time period as Dominik Hasek.

Part of me hopes Fleury stays in Pitt, and that same part of me hopes he doesnt fet exposed for his averageness in Vegas.

The other part of me hopes he doesnt do well, and I can tell all of his over zealous fans that i was right all along.

Posted by ilovehomers on 06/15/17 at 06:53 PM ET

Avatar

I admittedly thought Fleury was over when he had a couple
of bad playoff seasons in a row. But they really invested in him and
he mostly did repay it over a long period. He panned out for a #1 goalie and even a #1
pick.

So one more Penguin I can’t really summon any deep dislike for.

Nothing wrong with having a personality. And being pushed out by a goalie
as young and cheap (for the moment) and good as Murray is like the
perfect storm. He’s handling it as well as a player can.

I immediately though of the Osgood comparison, too.

But I think both deserve a lot of credit. Sure it’s a team game and few goalies can almost totally carry a team like Hasek in Buffalo. One really positive thing they have in common
is that both played a very important role in the playoffs in winning a Cup several years apart. And Osgood stepped in for guess who, and almost won another in 2009. If that one narrow series loss is the difference between tipping him into the Hall, I think he’s already there.

If Fleury ends up in Vegas he’s obviously going to have his work
cut out for him but he’d be a really good get for them.

 

Posted by Lefty30 on 06/16/17 at 12:58 AM ET

Avatar

Overall, he has shown to be quite an average goaltender on some superstar teams. 3 cups, 2 as a backup. And Vokoun saved the playoff run in 09.

Um.  Matheiu Garon played 24 mins during the 09 playoffs in relief of MAF.  Vokoun didn’t even join the team until 2012-2013.  But, ok, fair, he did replace MAF that playoffs and they got bounced in 4 in the conference finals.

Posted by PMP5030 on 06/16/17 at 06:01 AM ET

Avatar

I admittedly thought Fleury was over when he had a couple
of bad playoff seasons in a row. But they really invested in him and
he mostly did repay it over a long period. He panned out for a #1 goalie and even a #1
pick.

There were some really flat out bad playoff experiences for him going all the way back to when he tripped in 08.  You would have thought he was done in PGH, but I think the thing that always kept him there was “who else?”  Even if some team were to take him in a 1 for 1 swap or they could acquire a goalie through free agency, who would they have rather had?  At that point he’d already won a cup and had decent seasons and his contract was always pretty team friendly.  If you compare him to other goalies of his pedigree in those years, like Luongo, Miller, Lundqvist, at the end of the day, keeping him was right choice, even if it seemed like teams were winning the cup with somewhat random keepers.

Posted by PMP5030 on 06/16/17 at 06:27 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Then I’m an idiot for the 09 take, where he won as a starter and still had middling stats.

Having a stellar team can really propel a goalie. I look at Brodeur & Ozzy. However, I don’t count Roy in that - as a 3x conn smythe winner, on THOSE teams? oof.

Fleury’s trophy case is absolutely laughable for someone who some claim is on a “hall of fame” track or “on track to break brodeur’s wins record.”

Posted by ilovehomers on 06/16/17 at 08:00 AM ET

Avatar

Fleury’s career can be summoned up as he made saves no other goalie could have made and let in goals every other goalie could have saved. 

I generally agree with your comment on getting to the Hall, and he definitely was helped by the teams he played behind - BUT - for goalies that played the majority of their career in his era/post lockout, whats the best argument you can make for a better goalie?  Crawford? Quick?  Those guys are the only ones close in terms of cups.  Price, Miller, Lundqvist, Luongo never won anything.  And its not like hes retiring today, he’s only 32. BUT, then again, Fleury wasn’t even on Team Canada let alone the starting goaltender for most of his career.  And he’s never been a serious consideration for a Vezina.  I mean, Sergei Bobrovsky has won it.  I think he eventually gets in because the HOF is an old boys club, he’s one of the more likable personalities in all sports, and some years the eligibility pool is low and they gotta put someone in.

Posted by PMP5030 on 06/16/17 at 08:28 AM ET

Avatar

After all this, I think it will be hilarious if Vegas doesn’t end up picking the flower.

for goalies that played the majority of their career in his era/post lockout, whats the best argument you can make for a better goalie?  Crawford? Quick?  Those guys are the only ones close in terms of cups.  Price, Miller, Lundqvist, Luongo never won anything.

So are you asking for better goalies or better teams? They’re not the same thing, and if you’re talking about Cups then you’re judging the goalies based on their teams, which is more of a judgement of the GMs than single player.

Would you argue that Osgood was a better goalie than Quick, Price, Miller, Lundqvist, Rinne, etc. just because he’s won Cups?

But yes, to answer your question Crawford, Quick, Rinne, Price, Miller and Lundqvist are all better than Fleury, and there are probably another handful of goalies that I’d take over Fleury too.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/16/17 at 09:59 AM ET

Avatar

So are you asking for better goalies or better teams? They’re not the same thing, and if you’re talking about Cups then you’re judging the goalies based on their teams, which is more of a judgement of the GMs than single player.

Would you argue that Osgood was a better goalie than Quick, Price, Miller, Lundqvist, Rinne, etc. just because he’s won Cups?

But yes, to answer your question Crawford, Quick, Rinne, Price, Miller and Lundqvist are all better than Fleury, and there are probably another handful of goalies that I’d take over Fleury too.

Where is TPSH when you need him?

Oh believe me, I think wins for a goalie doesn’t prove jack beyond longevity, and at 375, even on a bad vegas team he’s still gonna get around 500 by the time he’s done.  Again, he’s only 32.  You can’t knock a guy for being on a good team.  Career stats wise he’s right in that mix.  He’s a weird case though for sure.  The only edge he really has is winning cups - which given all of his poor playoff performances and bench time, he still has 3.  So yeah, some years he stumbled but ultimately did enough to win at least 1 on his own.  Miller, Rinne, Lundqvist may not have had as memorable collapses, but clearly never did enough to win one either.  You can say its the team, but ultimately you still have the play the game.  Miller is a choke artist at all levels.  I wouldn’t suggest Mikhail Kiprusoff or Bobrovsky as having HOF careers just because of the Vezina.  So its hard to say.  But given the way the hall votes for the guys they love the most, I say he’s in.

Posted by PMP5030 on 06/16/17 at 10:24 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com