Friday, December 15, 2017

Marc-André Fleury Jersey Card

Anyone who's followed hockey at least semi-closely in the past year and a half is aware of the tough situation Marc-André Fleury has dealt with, from being the Pittsburgh Penguins' first-overall draft pick in 2003 to netting the game gold medal-winning own-goal at the World Juniors, to making the last-second save against Nicklas Lidstrom that won the Pens the Stanley Cup in 2009, to a return to grace with Top-5 numbers to a concussion leading the way to rookie Matt Murray stealing his job to two consecutive Cups, one of them (last year's) which would not have been possible without Fleury's own stellar goaltending in the first two rounds as the Pens' lone good player, to his being chosen at the Expansion Draft by the Vegas Golden Knights.

It's been a wild ride, but through it all, it has emerged that he is, quite simply, the best teammate in hockey. I always respected him as an individual, he's done great things in the community in Pittsburgh as well as back home in his native Montréal suburb of Sorel.

He's also emerged as my third-favourite NHL goalie (behind Jaroslav Halak and Corey Crawford), which led me to update my jersey collection last September:
If they get James Neal to re-sign, my dark Vegas jersey will be of him. Both former Pens played crucial roles in the Golden Knights' 2-1 win over the reigning Cup champions last night.
I hadn't featured Fleury with the Pens before, so I thought today might be a good time for that, with card #AS-24 from Upper Deck's 2015-16 SP Game-Used Edition collection and 2015 All-Star Skills sub-set:
It shows him wearing Pittsburgh's black (home) uniform with a large matching swatch that was presumably worn at the 2015 All-Star Game skills competition, although the back of the card simply states it was worn during an "official NHL game" (not "regulation" nor "playoff", so it's vague enough to mean whatever you want it to).

I'm glad he's found a home, and I'm extremely happy "my" Knights are doing great.

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