The real reason Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t play against the Pittsburgh Penguins now revealed; fans were absolutely fuming

When the Minnesota Wild played against the Penguins on Monday in Pittsburgh, everyone hoped to see Marc-Andre Fleury in net.

Rumors about Fleury retiring after this season have swirled all year long, and earlier this season, when he played his potentially final game in Montreal in front of friends and family, he was emotional.

Fleury started his career in Pittsburgh, winning 375 games and being a huge part of three Stanley Cup championships.

Fleury is a Pittsburgh Penguins cult hero, and in what could’ve been his final game against his former team and against the crowd that likes him so much, everyone expected him to start between the pipes.

But early on Monday, it became evident that Filip Gustavsson would be the starting goaltender, which Wild head coach John Hynes described as ‘part of the plan.’

The Wild play the Boston Bruins tonight, and Fleury is expected to start then. During the game, many were absolutely furious with Fleury not playing, and NHL analyst Paul Bissonnette even took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express his disappointment.

“How the f—k is Flower not playing in his potential final game in Pittsburgh tonight?” BizNasty said.

SAINT PAUL, MN – MARCH 21: Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Minnesota Wild warms up prior to the game against the Vegas Golden Knights at the Xcel Energy Center on March 21, 2022 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

But there was a reason behind Fleury not playing against Pittsburgh, and as it turns out, it was his decision.

Fleury hasn’t made a decision about next season yet, and he wants his emotional return to Pittsburgh when he retires, not when he’s still active, per Minnesota Wild insider Michael Russo.

“Fleury himself says he’s not necessarily retiring after this season; he doesn’t love playing there as a visitor, and his emotional return ‘night’ to Pittsburgh will come when his HOF career is over,” Russo said on X.

PITTSBURGH, PA – DECEMBER 18: Minnesota Wild Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) warms up before the game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Minnesota Wild on December 18, 2023, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

Marc-Andre Fleury is only four games away from playing in 1,000 in his career.

He’s also just three games away from tying Patrick Roy for the second-most wins in NHL history.

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