Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury earns first Vezina Trophy nomination

Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, playing in his 17th NHL season, earned his first nomination for the Vezina Trophy, given to the NHL’s top goaltender.

Fleury, Philipp Grubauer of the Colorado Avalanche and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning were chosen by the league’s general managers as the award’s finalists.

The 36-year-old Fleury ranked third in the NHL in wins (26), goals-against average (1.98), save percentage (.928) and shutouts (6) in his 36 appearances this season. He and goalie Robin Lehner combined to win the Jennings Trophy for Vegas, as the team that allowed the fewest goals during the regular season.

His highest previous placement in the voting was fourth overall in 2018-19. The nomination comes after a tumultuous last year for Fleury in which he lost the starter’s crease to Lehner in the 2020 playoffs, faced the possibility of being traded for cap space in the offseason and then regained the starting job with Lehner out of the lineup to lead the Knights to an 82-point season, tied with Colorado for the most in the NHL.

Grubauer, the Avalanche’s starting goalie, also earned his first nomination for the Vezina. He tied for the league lead with seven shutouts and ranked second in both wins (30) and goals-against average (1.95) in 40 appearances for first-place Colorado.

This is Vasilevskiy’s fourth straight Vezina nomination, having won the award in 2018-19. He led the NHL in wins during those seasons, including his 31-10-1 record in 2020-21. The Lightning goalie had a .925 save percentage and a 2.21 goals-against average.

Among the goalies that didn’t make the cut were Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck, last season’s Vezina winner who appeared in 45 of the Jets’ 56 games this season; Semyon Varlamov of the New York Islanders, who had seven shutouts and a .929 save percentage this season; and Juuse Saros of the Nashville Predators, who had a 21-11-1 record and a .927 save percentage in leading the team to a playoff spot in the Central Division.

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