Marc-Andre Fleury Signs A 3-Year Extension With The Vegas Golden Knights
You always hear these stories about people who went to Las Vegas for a vacation and just ended up never going home and staying there for the rest of their life. Turns out that Marc-Andre Fleury will now be one of those guys after signing a 3-year extension with the Golden Knights.
Now I know the first thing that a lot of people are going to do is look at that AAV and say that the Vegas Golden Knights are making a rather pricey mistake here. Fleury is 33-years old. He’ll be 34 when the contract kicks in after next season. So for those of you who understand how ages work, the Golden Knights will be paying $7 million per year to a 35, 36 and 37-year-old Marc Andre Fleury. Chances are this contract will take Fleury to the end of his career. So yeah, maybe that’s a lot of money to have tied up in an aging goaltender but here’s the thing.
This is how you do business. The main reason why the Vegas Golden Knights were able to get to where they got to in their first year of existence was because of Fleury. William Karlsson and James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith all had great seasons. But Fleury is the easy candidate for team MVP there. And he was the first major name to join the team. He became the face of the franchise the moment he told Pittsburgh that he’d be fine with them leaving him exposed in the expansion draft. Without Marc-Andre Fleury from the beginning, I don’t want to say that the Vegas Golden Knights would be a total cast of nobodies but Fleury gave the team somebody to market around right off the bat. He was a 3-time Stanley Cup winner. He was a former 1st overall draft pick. He had his ups and downs throughout his career in Pittsburgh, sure, but he could still be considered a “star” player. So Fleury goes to Vegas, did a ton for the community after the shooting, led the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup Final during their first year in the league, and now he’s heading into the final year of his contract. The Golden Knights had two options here.
They could 1) treat this like a business and see how Fleury plays this season before deciding to offer him a $7 million extension. Or they could 2) reward the guy for all he’s done so far for the franchise, and give him the extension now so that he and his family can have that extra level of comfortability heading into this season without having to worry about if they need to pick up and move again. The National Hockey League is a business. You hear that all the time in professional sports. But every once in a while it’s nice to see a deal get made that may not be the greatest business decision, but definitely the right personal decision. Do I think that MAF is going to be worth $7M per year through 2022? Ehhhh probably not. But Vegas has the cap room to spend–they don’t have any crazy contracts on the books yet depending on what the William Karlsson extension ends up looking like–and when other potential free agents see the way the organization treats Fleury, maybe they’ll be more inclined to sign there as well. So if you look at this extension as more of an investment to attract future free agents, it’s much less of an overpayment than just the extension on paper looks like. Good for Vegas and good for MAF for cashing in. You can’t hate on a guy for signing a piece of paper that puts $21 million into his bank account.