Updated February 15, 2022 - 4:01 pm
The Golden Knights’ aspirations of winning a Stanley Cup may ride on their ability to find reliable goaltending if Robin Lehner is sidelined for a significant amount of time.
But don’t expect Marc-Andre Fleury to be the answer to their problems.
General manager Kelly McCrimmon threw cold water on a report Tuesday that the team was interested in a reunion with the former face of the franchise after an acrimonious split in the offseason.
“There is absolutely no credence to that rumor at all,” McCrimmon said. “I wouldn’t normally speak (officially) on such things, but there will be so much racket about this, it’s important to let people know that’s not going to happen.”
Daily Faceoff reported that the Knights expressed an interest in reacquiring Fleury from the Chicago Blackhawks while Lehner is out with an upper-body injury.
The cap-strapped Knights traded Fleury in July for a minor leaguer who was later released, and the move was a major public relations hit for the organization.
Fleury’s camp revealed it found out about the trade through social media rather than receiving a courtesy call from the Knights. The organization responded by accusing Fleury’s agent of telling teams the goalie would retire in an effort to sabotage a potential deal.
That all came a little less than a year after Fleury’s agent sent out a tweet before the start of the 2020 Western Conference semifinals with a picture of the netminder being stabbed through the back by a sword with coach Pete DeBoer’s name on the blade.
The sides put that drama behind them entering last season, and Fleury went on to win the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender. He also combined with Lehner to capture the William M. Jennings Trophy for fewest goals allowed.
Fleury, 37, got off to a slow start as the Blackhawks stumbled to open the season, but has been solid the past three months with a .917 save percentage. He returned to T-Mobile Arena on Jan. 8 and received a warm reception in Chicago’s 2-1 victory.
But another reconciliation is not going to happen.
Still, the fact the Knights reportedly have been inquiring about goaltenders before the March 21 trade deadline indicates Lehner’s injury might keep him out long term.
Lehner was in net for Wednesday’s loss at Calgary and allowed six goals on 33 shots. DeBoer said after practice Tuesday the team was still determining the extent of the injury.
“He’s still undergoing testing and things like that,” DeBoer said. “I don’t have any more on that.”
Lehner sustained an upper-body injury against the New York Islanders on Dec. 19 and missed the next five games. He’s gone 5-4-1 with a 2.47 goals-against average and .911 save percentage since returning.
DeBoer said Lehner will not play Wednesday against league-leading Colorado after not practicing the past two days and did not offer a timetable for his return.
That leaves the Knights to rely on backup Laurent Brossoit (9-3-2, 2.66 GAA, .905 SP), who is coming off a shutout over Edmonton in his last start, and rookie call-up Logan Thompson.
Who: Golden Knights vs. Avalanche
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: T-Mobile Arena
Radio: KKGK (98.9 FM, 1340 AM)
Line: Knights -110; total 6½