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Marc-Andre Fleury Has Agent Delete Tweet Ripping Golden Knights HC Pete DeBoer

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2020

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) plays against the Los Angeles Kings during an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

Allan Walsh, the agent for Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, deleted a tweet in which Fleury was shown being stabbed in the back with a sword, which was emblazoned with the name of Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer.  

Fleury discussed the matter Sunday in a news conference, per ESPN's Greg Wyshynski:

"Regarding that picture that came up, Allan's been my agent for a long time. I've known him since I was 15. We're always very close. We always talk about hockey or other things in life. He always protects and cares a lot about his players, and cares a lot about me also. I really appreciate his passion for the game. I think this was maybe a way to defend me in this situation. But I'm here to win with my team. To have success. That's what matters."

Fleury added that he had spoken with DeBoer and general manager Kelly McCrimmon after the image was posted.

"It was good to talk, see where we're at," he said. "I don't like being a distraction for my team."

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Saturday night about the meeting and added that all parties appeared ready to move on.

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However, the tenor of the tweet in question reflects how Fleury's status on the Golden Knights might have changed significantly since he announced his three-year extension in July 2018.

The 35-year-old had a somewhat disappointing regular season. His save percentage (.905) was his lowest since 2009-10, and his goals against average (2.77) increased for the second straight season.

When Vegas acquired Robin Lehner in February, it looked like the team was consolidating its goaltender depth rather than attempting to find a direct replacement for Fleury. Instead, Lehner has started six of eight games for the Golden Knights during the NHL's modified playoff format.

Greg Wyshynski @wyshynski

I think Fleury comes to the bubble believing it's his crease and Lehner was the insurance policy. I don't think that's promised to him, but I think it's been communicated to him. Then they give Lehner six out of eight starts. /2

One obvious question is how much Walsh's sentiment aligned with that of his client. According to Wyshynski, reporters asked Fleury twice whether he knew Walsh would post the photo, and twice Fleury declined to answer.

Steve "Dangle" Glynn @Steve_Dangle

“Fleury didn’t tweet that!” Well no, you’re right. A guy he pays thousands of dollars to represent him did, you’re right. And it’s been up for an hour. If he wants it gone it’ll be gone. We’ll see 🤷‍♂️

The pursuit of a Stanley Cup is almost assuredly enough to put this on the backburner for the time being.

Fleury is signed through the 2021-22 season, though, with Lehner hitting free agency. Were Vegas to make a long-term commitment to the latter, it could raise doubt about the former's status as the Golden Knights' No. 1 netminder going forward, thus putting Fleury in a difficult position with two years to run on his deal.

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