The Vegas Golden Knights have rewarded the cornerstone of their franchise by signing goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to a three-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $7 million.
The netminder made the announcement Friday on the team’s official Twitter account.
Fleury is in the final year of his current four-year contract, which was signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. That deal carried an average annual value of $5.75 million, a slight raise from the contract before that.
The new contract with Vegas kicks in for the 2019-2020 season and gives Fleury more annual money than he’s earned in his career to date.
“I’m really excited,” Fleury said. “My family and I really love Vegas, the organization, my teammates, and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to keep playing in front of you guys for another couple years.”
Fleury landed in Vegas as their franchise player after the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft and experienced a resurgence in his career, posting stellar numbers and coming alive during the team’s improbable playoff run. The 33-year-old was 29-13-4 in the regular season, putting up career-highs in multiple categories.
And in the post-season, Fleury was 13-7 with an unreal 2.24 goals against average and a .927 save percentage. He also registered four playoff shutouts.
The deal will make Fleury the highest-paid player on the Golden Knights in the 2019-2020 season, second to the newly-acquired Paul Stastny.
But Vegas is a team built on shorter contracts, with Jonathan Marchessault the longest-inked player with a deal set to make him an unrestricted free agent in 2024-2025.
The club has a stack of RFAs, like William Karlsson and Shea Theodore, and they’ll have to figure out a way to get these key pieces locked in for a longer haul to build a solid base.
The Fleury contract makes sense in that context, too, as they can squeeze out some more decent hockey before settling him into a firm mentor role for the franchise’s goaltender of the future.