Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020 | 10:07 a.m.
Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury isn’t saying whether he had knowledge of his agent’s plan to post a controversial photo on Twitter suggesting the veteran netminder is being betrayed by coach Peter DeBoer.
Fleury held a press conference today before the Golden Knights’ opening game of their second-round playoff series to address the photo agent Allan Walsh posted. It shows Fleury in goal with sword through his back that read “DeBoer.”
The implication is obvious — that Walsh feels Fleury was betrayed by Vegas coach Peter DeBoer, who has started goalie Robin Lehner in six of the eight games this postseason. Walsh deleted the post Sunday morning.
When asked if he knew whether he knew Walsh was going to post the photo, Fleury said that Walsh is trying to defend his client.
When asked again if he knew, Fleury declined to answer.
“We’ve been talking, right, throughout the playoffs. Obviously I love playing, I love being in the net and he’s been on Twitter for a long time and he’s just trying to protect me a bit,” Fleury said. When asked the follow-up, he said, “That’s the same question as before.”
Walsh did not respond to request for comment. The Golden Knights have not had DeBoer or any other players available since the photo was posted, and do not have a scheduled availability until after Game 1 against the Vancouver Canucks at 7:30 p.m.
Fleury has been the unquestioned starter since the team’s inception, including leading the charge to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018. DeBoer was not the coach then, taking over in January to supplant Gerard Gallant.
The Golden Knights acquired Lehner, a 2019 Vezina Trophy finalist as the league’s top goalie, in February. During the regular season and round-robin, Fleury and Lehner alternated starts, but once the first round against the Blackhawks began, the pecking order became clear.
Lehner started Game 1 as well as four of the five games in the series. Fleury started and won Game 3, the first game of a back-to-back. A starting goalie for Game 1 against the Canucks has not been formally announced.
Lehner is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, and Fleury is signed with the Golden Knights for two more seasons after this one. Fleury has a $7 million cap hit and a partial no-trade clause.
It’s not the first time Fleury has seen his playing time diminish in the playoffs, and it played a big role in his ending up with the Golden Knights. Fleury was the starter when the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2009 and was still with the Penguins when they won again in 2016 and 2017. Fleury was the backup then, as Matt Murray had taken over as starter. Fleury played in both playoff runs, but did not play in either Stanley Cup Final.
The summer of 2017 was the expansion draft, and the Penguins opted to protect Murray in the draft, allowing the Golden Knights to select Fleury. In three years in Vegas, Fleury has appeared in 156 of the Golden Knights’ 235 regular season games. Before this postseason, he had started all 27 of Vegas’ playoff games.
Fleury said he has spoken with DeBoer and Lehner and that he does not want to be a distraction for the team.
“I just want to be behind it and move on,” Fleury said. “All I care about is winning and what’s best for the team, and I think they know what.”
Justin Emerson can be reached at 702-259-8814 or [email protected]. Follow Justin on Twitter at
Join the Discussion:
Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.
Full comments policy