The Vegas Golden Knights will be without Marc-Andre Fleury for an indefinite amount of time. The veteran netminder is on leave for personal reasons. The team has recalled Garret Sparks from the AHL to back up Malcolm Subban in the meantime. Vegas news site SinBin.vegas was among the first to report the news.
Multiple sources say Garret Sparks will be called up to the Golden Knights for tomorrow's game. Marc-Andre Fleury is away from the team for personal reasons.
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) November 26, 2019
Marc-Andre Fleury Out for Personal Reasons
Vegas will try to survive for the next few games without their best option in net. The team has lost three straight going into a battle with the Nashville Predators Wednesday evening. Fleury had been leading the team’s efforts in goal with 19 starts in 25 games. He had a .919 save percentage and 2.54 goals-against-average. Both of those numbers are excellent especially considering Fleury is 35-years-old. Vegas’ struggles are certainly not because Fleury has lost his touch.
Subban draws strong opinions from fans but will get the majority of starts for however long Fleury is away from the team. He has struggled this year with four losses in six starts. Those losses are due to a poor .883 save percentage and 3.55 goals-against-average. Subban’s numbers are significantly worse than his 2018-19 numbers of .902 and 2.93, respectively.
The team will have to count on consistent playing time as the remedy to Subban’s issues without leaving the 26-year-old on an island. There is still plenty of potential in Subban’s game as he was a first-round pick in the 2012 Draft.
Sparks will act as the backup for now after a strong start in the AHL. He currently sports a .927 save percentage and 2.75 goals-against in 12 games with the Chicago Wolves. Fans will recall that the 26-year-old spent much of last year behind Frederik Andersen of the Toronto Maple Leafs so he does have some NHL experience.
What This Means for the Future
Honestly, it is hard to say. Personal leave can extend for only a few days or much longer depending on the situation. Vegas won’t rush their top goalie but will need to monitor how he is feeling closely. The Golden Knights are fifth in the Pacific Division and outside the playoff picture at the moment. They will need their best talent back soon if they plan on remaining competitive.