Fleury Is One of a Kind in the NHL

Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Marc-Andre Fleury is a future Hall-of-Famer; there is no question about it. Not only has he played a long and storied career with four different NHL teams and won three Stanley Cups, but he is still breaking records as he goes. Not only has he become the fourth and likely last goaltender to play in 1000 NHL games, but he is now the goaltender with the second-most wins in the history of the NHL, surpassing Patrick Roy during the Minnesota Wild game against the New York Islanders on Monday. Fleury is making hockey history this season.

Fleury is the last of his kind when it comes to goaltenders. Not only does he play with a style that isn’t frequently seen anymore, but he also played at a time when star and backup goaltenders were more common than today’s goalie tandem teams. It is absolutely amazing that Fleury came into the league at 18 years old and is still playing just as well twenty years later at 39 years old.

Goalies in the modern-day NHL won’t have the opportunity to break the records that Fleury is still setting. Goalies no longer come into the league at 18 years old. Instead, they “overbake” in the AHL, college hockey, or in European leagues. This year, Jepser Wallstedt was the youngest goalie to play in the NHL when he made his debut. He was 21, three full years older than Fleury when he came into the league. And Wallstedt only played one game before going back to the AHL team.

Jonathan Quick has played 768 career games, the second-most of active goalies. In order for him to catch up, he would need to play every single game for the rest of this season, two more full seasons, and the majority of a third. That just isn’t feasible, especially because he is 38 years old. 

Most goalies in the league have shifted to a calmer style of play, relying more on good positioning to make their saves. Fleury, on the other hand, plays a more dynamic style that depends on his athleticism to make saves. And even after two decades, Fleury is still able to make highlight reel saves. He hasn’t slowed down at all as he has aged. 

The big question on everyone’s mind is whether this will be Fleury’s last year in the league. Fleury himself has refused to make a decision, wanting to wait until after the season is over to make a decision. Judging by his continued success and how much fun he has on the ice, Fleury could play in the NHL for a few more seasons before retiring. 

No matter when Fleury retires, fans in Minnesota and around the league need to recognize what a privilege it is to watch him on the ice. He is the most beloved hockey player in the league. There isn’t any player who has an unkind thing to say about him. Fleury takes pride in his play on the ice and in being a good teammate off of it. He is truly one-of-a-kind.

For more about Fleury and the game when he passed Patrick Roy for second-most wins, listen to the latest episode of Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast.

Hockey, Hockey, Everywhere! That's Why I've Been So Busy! Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast

In this episode, Mikki talks about the abundance of amazing hockey between the NHL Playoffs and the IIHF Men's World Championships. She also touches on a few fun facts and rambles a bit too much after too many days between podcast episodes. Links:Her Wild Side Merch Shop!Ticketmaster Affiliate LinkSocial Media:TwitterInstagramFacebookFor more from us, visit Inside The RinkHow to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR   
  1. Hockey, Hockey, Everywhere! That's Why I've Been So Busy!
  2. It's The Playoffs, Baby!
  3. Hockey Culture is Disgusting and Needs to Change
  4. A Post-Mortem for the MN Wild Season
  5. Trading Gustavsson Would Be the Dumbest Idea Ever

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Christian Humphreys, USNTDP (Rena Laverty / USA Hockey’s NTDP)

2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Christian Humphreys

Christian Humphreys has shown consistent performance as a two-way forward. Standing at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, he is a promising prospect who has the potential to exceed expectations and become a steal in the draft.

Read More

Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 Recap: New York Rangers vs. Florida Panthers

It’s only one game, but the New York Rangers will need to be better if they want to keep their Stanley Cup hopes alive. The President-trophy winners 3-0 loss to the reigning league runner-ups, Florida Panthers, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at Madison Square Garden wasn’t as bad as the score indicated, […]

Read More

Three Takeaways From Florida Panthers Shutout Victory

“At the end of the day, we’re here for wins. That’s it.” Matthew Tkachuk means business. Even after a dominant display during game one, he knows the Panthers have a long way to go. But it is hard not to laud the performance just put forth. Paul Maurice’s men came into Wednesday playing their first […]

Read More