For the first time in his storied NHL career, Marc-Andre Fleury has been honored as the best goalie in the league.
The Vegas Golden Knights goaltender won his first Vezina Trophy on Tuesday, the award given to the top netminder in the NHL voted by the 31 general managers.
Fleury received 14 first-place votes and was on all but one of the ballots. Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, who won the award in 2019, finished second and was nine points behind Fleury.
Colorado’s Philipp Grubauer rounded out the finalists with 36 points (two first-place votes).
“Didn’t know what to expect about Vegas. I was worried about not winning too much, going to an expansion team,” Fleury said. “It’s been such full of surprises; just from how much the fans are behind us, makes the game so fun to play in, the success our team has had since Day 1.
“The group of guys we do it with every year; the chemistry is awesome. I couldn’t have bet winning this or winning so many games in Vegas four years later, but it’s been fun, and an honor to get this trophy today.”
The third-winningest goalie in NHL history, Fleury went 26-10-0 in this condensed season with a 1.98 goals-against average and .928 save percentage. He and teammate Robin Lehner combined to allow a league-low 124 goals this season, winning the William M. Jennings Trophy.
The 36-year-old goalie allowed two or fewer goals in 25 of his 36 starts.
“Maybe I’m not as quick or as flexible as I was in my 20s,” Fleury said. “I’ve learned things the hard way. I’ve lost a lot; some ups and downs in my career. It’s a way to learn and improve. You’ve seen a lot of puck, you’ve seen a lot of plays.”
Fleury becomes the first Golden Knights player to win an award since Vegas took four in its inaugural season; William Karlsson with the Lady Byng, Deryk Engelland and the Mark Messier Leadership Award, George McPhee winning the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award, and Gerard Gallant with the Jack Adams Award.
In addition to the Vezina, Fleury was named to the NHL’s All-Star Team for the first time, voted on by the Pro Hockey Writers Association. Fleury was named to the second team; Vasilevskiy received 67 first-place votes.
- Marc-Andre Fleury: 108 (14-11-5)
- Andrei Vasilevskiy: 99 (12-12-3)
- Philipp Grubauer: 36 (2-6-8)
- Connor Hellebuyck: 13 (2-0-3)
- Semyon Varlamov: 11 (1-1-3)
- Juuse Saros: 10 (0-1-7)
- Mike Smith: 2 (0-0-2)