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After being threatened with sanctions by the NHL, Marc-Andre Fleury will wear his mask anyway

After being threatened with sanctions by the NHL, Marc-Andre Fleury will wear his mask anyway

Despite himself, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury appears to be at the center of controversy over his desire to wear a mask in First Nations tribute on Friday.

Team Quebec planned to use the piece of equipment on the sidelines of the game against the Colorado Avalanche, marking a special Minnesota Wild evening highlighting Indigenous heritage. Additionally, No. 29 was proud to feature the mask designed by Cole Redhorse Taylor, an artist from the Prairie Island community. In addition, the club highlighted the object in a promotional text published on its official website about the event.

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It is clear that the entities and stakeholders involved are happy with this initiative, but there is one organization that will not share this enthusiasm: the National Hockey League (NHL). This would have warned Fleury and his team that they would impose sanctions if the veteran went ahead with his idea. He will not back down, according to his agent Alan Walsh.

“Marc-Andre Fleury indicated that in any case he plans to wear the mask and pay the fine. The NHL then threatened the Wild with additional financial penalties,” he said on his X account.

“As part of First Nations Heritage Evening and in honor of his wife [dont la famille est d’origine abénakise et mi’kmaw]Marc-Andre Fleury had a custom-made mask. […] There are quotes from his father and the names of his children are listed there. “He’s disappointed that the NHL informed him he can’t even wear it during warmups,” added The Athletic journalist Michael Russo.

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However, the 38-year-old athlete has already used head protection in tribute to First Nations, most notably in November 2021, when he played for the Chicago Blackhawks. However, as many have noted in recent months, Pittman’s circle is more cautious about social and political issues that are likely to spark controversy. During the off-season, he eliminated pieces of equipment typically displayed during theme evenings such as those related to black history and the issue of the LGBTQ+ community.