Marc-André Fleury wants to stay with the Vegas Golden Knights even if they sign a pending unrestricted free agent Robin Lehner on a long-term contract, the 35-year-old goaltender told The Athletic on Thursday.
Lehner on September 12 denied a report that he had agreed to a five-year contract with Vegas.
“I don’t know what the future holds, but I’ve loved every moment since I came here,” said Fleury. “This team means a lot to me, and the city has been so good to me. Fans and [owner Bill Foley] were so awesome. They are a great team and I thought when I got here that I might be able to retire here. I wanted to end my career here. ”
Fleury said he spoke with Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon and president of hockey operations George McPhee in Edmonton, the central city of the Western Conference playoffs, finals conference and the Stanley Cup Final.
“These discussions were OK. It was always vague, ”Fleury said. “It’s difficult for each team now to work with the [NHL salary cap] it will not change for a few years. Obviously, we’re a capping team, so they’ll have some tough decisions to make. We will see. Honestly, I do not know. It could happen, but maybe not. That is why they are the boss and they are the ones who make the tough decisions. ”
The salary cap for next season will remain at $ 81.5 million.
The Golden Knights lost the Western Conference final to the Dallas Stars in five games. Fleury was 3-1-0 with an GAA of 2.27 and a save percentage of 0.910 in the playoffs.
“We don’t have those answers for you right now,” McCrimmon said Sept. 16 of the Vegas goalie situation in Vegas. ” But [the] The first thing to do, I think, in many ways is to sort this out. ”
Fleury was selected by Vegas in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft after winning the Stanley Cup for the third time with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was 13-7 with a 2.70 GAA, .909 save percentage and four shutouts in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs to help the Golden Knights advance to the final, one loss. of five games against the Washington Capitals in their inaugural season.
“I understand the business side of hockey and maybe I should be moved,” Fleury said. “But that’s why it’s them (the front office) who make the decisions. ”