Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury wants to stay with the organization even if the 35-year-old remains a backup to playoff starter Robin Lehner.
Reports surfaced earlier this month that Vegas intends to sign Lehner, 29, to a long-term deal, something that could send Fleury to the trade market as the club attempts to fetch something valuable in return for the three-time Stanley Cup champion. However, Fleury told The Athletic's Jesse Granger on Wednesday that he'd prefer to stay with the Golden Knights.
“I want to stay in Vegas," Fleury said about the club he joined during the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft after playing his first 13 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins. "I don’t know what the future holds, but I’ve loved every moment since I got here.”
“I get along great with Robin, so I think it would be all right. I still love to play. I don’t think I just want to be a backup, but I’ll practice hard, try to play well, and hopefully get some games, but it always comes down to the coach’s decision. Whatever happens, happens. And that’s fine. I’ll just try my best to come to camp in good shape and do well from there.”
The biggest obstacle standing between Fleury and his wish to stay with Vegas is the $7 million salary-cap hit attached to his contract. That's an expensive price to pay for somebody who was relegated to appearing in only four of 20 playoff games behind Lehner.
Fleury's deal includes a clause that allows him to list 10 clubs he won't join in a trade.