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Bylsma says ‘Fleury is our No. 1 goalie’

Jun 9, 2013, 3:11 PM EDT

Marc-Andre Fleury Getty Images

One of many disappointments in the playoffs for the Pittsburgh Penguins was the play of starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. He struggled in the first-round against the Islanders and wound up benched in favor of veteran backup Tomas Vokoun.

With rumors circulating about Fleury possibly being bought out this summer, Pens coach Dan Bylsma made his feelings very apparent on where he stands during today’s locker clear-out day.

“Fleury is our No. 1 goalie and will be moving forward,” Bylsma told reporters. “He is a guy who will come back to this team.”

So what about Tomas Vokoun’s role next season? Bylsma says his role won’t change as the backup because “Marc-Andre Fleury’s going to be in there winning games.”

With such stern votes of confidence in Fleury’s ability you wonder where this support was for him during the playoffs. The way this looks, it seems like they want to run him for political office and not starting goalie.

  1. DonkeyStick - Jun 9, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Well, he did only allow 3 goals in the Boston series!

    • deerhunter1926 - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      where have you been ? in game #2 he allowed 6 goals!! and that was a slap in the face to tom vokoun! vokoun is definately the better goalie! and i’ve been a penns fan forever!!

      • deerhunter1926 - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:37 PM

        these guys as a team SUCKED against boston!!! go blackhawks!!!

      • dudermcrbohan - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        yea a penns fan who doesn’t seem to watch the game or follow the team at all….

      • dtownbeatdown - Jun 9, 2013 at 5:01 PM

        What were you watching? Vokoun got pulled after letting 3 of 9 shots in on him. Fleury also had 3 goals scored on him. Hence the 3 goals he got scored on him in the entire series. Regardless the pens got destroyed.

      • tdrusher225 - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:39 PM

        Fleury allowed 3 goals, and he was being sarcastic.

      • hockey412 - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:20 AM

        You have no clue what you are talking about, do you.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      And the first one, seconds after the Pens showed slight signs of a pulse by making it 3-1, and with just seconds before taking that modest momentum to the room for the first intermission, was an absolute killer.

    • ml3939 - Jun 9, 2013 at 11:18 PM

      Not trying to pile on but the response to Fleury only allowing 3 goals in the series is that the Pens only scored 2 goals.

  2. Stiller43 - Jun 9, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    “Mary and I went skiing, we made a snowman, she touched my leg…”

    “Okay, Kill Him!”

    ____________

    “Fleury is our #1 goalie.”

    “Okay!!! Fire him…

  3. mustbechris - Jun 9, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Maybe whatever team hires Bylsma in a couple weeks can trade for Fleury then.

  4. icelovinbrotha215 - Jun 9, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Man, someone in the front office dropped the ball big time. It’s like they forgot what made them successful and gave them back-to-back SC appearances. Bylsma is part of the problem but it can’t just be him taking the blame. Can it? The PIT-faithful would know better than I.

  5. nunan - Jun 9, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Where was the support during the playoffs? So, they’re supposed to leave him in there when he is struggling and their season is on the line? Of course not. They’re going to support him now as they should. He IS their starting goaltender. That doesnt mean leave him in net no matter what..or that putting Vokoun in their is somehow NOT supporting Fleury. Come on..

  6. bcisleman - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    You would think that if Shero was going to fire Bylsma, he would have settled that before Bylsma made such public pronouncements. We will simply have to wait and see if Bylsma stays and, if he does, whether he’s true to his word.

  7. Stiller43 - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    I honestly love byslma, but i dont know how you can say a guy is your number one goalie and pay him as such if he’s completely useless in the playoffs (43 goals in his last 11 appearances, not even full games). What do you when you get to the playoffs? You have to have another guy capable (like vokoun was this year, but brent johnson was NOT last year…)

    Clearly his playoff play is different than his upper middle half of the league play during the regular season. Perhaps its facing teams like the flyers and islanders, who’s systems the pens have problems with? Who knows….

    Also, im not going to pretend to know about his coaching/adjustment skills. I know be boasts a high winning % in the playoffs, has a SC, but hasnt had a crazy amount of recent playoff success (am i talking about fleury or bylsma here?!!!), BUT ive heard others in the media very publicly question his adjustments…

    I would love for him to stick around, but ths goalie situation needs settled.

  8. Stiller43 - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    High winning % in the reg season****

  9. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    Bylsma said the right thing, and maybe after consulting with Shero. We just don’t know. What he said doesn’t hurt the organization, and will not hinder them in their attempt to shop him if they choose to go that route. Otherwise it would be difficult to trade a goalie if you leave a cloud over his head with respect to his status. Who would be interested? He’s French Canadian, and Montreal is dying for more French speaking players, plus he could be a good duo with Price, who as we know doesn’t enjoy his stardom in Montreal. Also, he could be an interesting get for the future team in Quebec City.

  10. Stiller43 - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Deerhunter,

    Voky got pulled after allowing 3 in game 2 and fleury came in and allowed 3 more in his only appearance in the series

    Therefore, he allowed 3 goals in the boston series.

  11. killerpgh - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    I’m not even sure if MAF can be bought out. A players has to be put through waivers and clear before he can be bought out. MAF has a NMC in his contract that prevents him from being put on waivers.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 9, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      Two words! “Compliance buyouts”! No waivers.

      • killerpgh - Jun 9, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        Then why did Redden and Gomez need to clear waivers before being bought out? http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2013/01/17/gomez-redden-clear-waivers/

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:39 PM

        I believe they were considered as special “accelerated compliance buy-outs” because both teams chose to leave the players at home rather than risk them getting injured. I did some research online, and browsed through the CBA and found no indication of a player having to clear waivers for compliance buy-outs after the playoffs.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jun 9, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      The waivers on those two weren’t because of the buyouts specifically, they were to see if anyone would take the contracts off their respective teams hands before the buyout. Waivers aren’t required before buyouts, MAF having a no movement clause means nothing towards a buyout.

      • killerpgh - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        This is from the new CBA.

        13.21 (a) When a Club desires to terminate a Player’s SPC for any reason, such action may not be taken until Unconditional Waivers have been requested and cleared in conformity with this Article. Notwithstanding this provision, a Player with a no-move clause shall have the rights set forth in Section 11.8.

        11.8 (c) A no-move clause may prevent the involuntary relocation of a Player, whether by Trade, Loan or Waiver claim. A no-move clause, however, may not restrict the Club’s Buy-Out and termination rights as set forth in this Agreement. Prior to exercising its Ordinary Course Buy-Out rights pursuant to Paragraph 13 of the SPC hereof, the Club shall, in writing in accordance with the notice provisions in Exhibit 3 hereof, provide the Player with the option of electing to be placed on Waivers. The Player will have twenty-four (24) hours from the time he receives such notice to accept or reject that option at his sole discretion, and shall so inform the Club in writing, in accordance with the notice provisions in Exhibit 3 hereof, within such twenty- four (24) hour period. If the Player does not timely accept or reject that option, it will be deemed rejected.

        So players DO need to pass through waivers before being bought out. But a NMC can’t stop a player from being placed on waivers for the purpose of being bought out.

  12. blackhawks2010 - Jun 9, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Says the Coach about to be fired…..

  13. papajack1259 - Jun 9, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    The Pens must re load around Crosby new team new coach new tender talent is not chemistry something is rotten in Pittsburgh. Can they enter next year with this group? would you?

  14. pastabelly - Jun 9, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Bylsma might want to wait for Shero to make the call on this one, since a buy out option is available. It’s not Bylsma’s call and speaking to the media about this is a good way to get yourself fired.

    This has nothing to do with the Boston series, although his effort was pathetic on Marchand’s second goal and Boychuck’s. it’s about Philadelphia in 2012 and Islanders in 2013. If I’m a GM and going into the 2014 playoffs with him, I haven’t learned a thing.

  15. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 9, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Has anybody seen our fellow commenter; myroncopesflask At least blomfeld had the guts to admit defeat…..

    myroncopesflask – May 31, 2013 at 7:50 AM
    It will either be Geno or Quick. If Quick stands on his head and shuts down the Pens when they play he will deserve the award and there will not be an argument.(Don’t worry that will be the finals matchup) My money is going on Malkin…I realize that Boston is going to play Chara against his line but one thing that is not being talked about is how much the Boston players hate playing James Neal. He really gets under their skin and always gets their attention. Malkin runs away with the scoring lead in this series. You heard it here 1st! 1975

    • pastabelly - Jun 9, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      A bit unfair to bring up an old comment based on regular season series.

  16. orangandblack - Jun 9, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Number 1?? That’s funny, because when he played he looked like number 2……and you know I’m talking about poop

  17. dkphilly1122 - Jun 9, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    If I am the Pens they should buyout Fleury. I like Fleury but he doesn’t show up in the playoffs when they NEED him to. Vokoun came in and saved the Islanders series and kept them in games the rest of there series. Yeah Vokoun isn’t a spring chicken, but I have no doubt they can find a good young goalie over the next year or two to eventually take over in net. Pittsburgh’s defense looked horrible in front of both goalies. At the end of the day they need to fix there defense problems no matter who is there coach or goalie. They definitely have a ton of offensive fire power, just need to lock up the back end like my Flyers. They can’t let Malkin go thru a trade this off season, so buyout Fleury and save the money for the UFA’s coming up like Letang and Malkin after next year.

    • spitfisher - Jun 9, 2013 at 9:46 PM

      They have too much money tied up in the front end to allow for proper spending on the back end such as good goalie and D around him

  18. thesportsjudge - Jun 9, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    Would/could Pittsburgh sign Tim Thomas?
    Would he be willing to accept less money to play there?

    • poonerman - Jun 9, 2013 at 9:58 PM

      Thomas passed on the last year ($5M?) of his contract, so I don’t think the size of the paycheck is an issue for him.

  19. letsgopens8771 - Jun 9, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Flower is a great goalie in the regular season. In the playoffs, he has significantly lost a few steps and has proven his ability to choke. I’d take Voky over Flower any time during the playoffs.

    *PUNCH* Ya hear that? Bylsma just punched his ticket to Broadway.

    • thesableo - Jun 10, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Fleury really, really isn’t that great in the regular season. 2008 was a good year for him and besides that his #s are incredibly mediocre.

  20. stakex - Jun 9, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    What else is Bylsma going to say? In reality he shouldn’t have said anything, but if he was going to make a comment on the subject this is what he had to say. Even if he stays, Fleury will probably be bought out this summer if the Pens can find a decent replacement. Its a call that’s up to the GM, not Bylsma and I can’t see a GM series about winning a cup keeping a goalie whos so inept in the playoffs.

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