Marc-Andre Fleury will wear a special-edition mask during November. The Chicago Blackhawks goaltender will honor Native American Heritage Month with a mask designed by Ojibwe artist Patrick Hunter.
“My wife’s family is of Abenaki and Mi’Kmaq descent, and I wanted to do something special to recognize and celebrate Native American Heritage Month,” Fleury said. “I was lucky enough to work with Native artist Patrick Hunter on a special-edition mask, and I love his design, especially the inclusion of the flowers and feathers.”
The design features seven uniquely-designed feathers, representing the seven grandfather teachings for Indigenous communities around the Great Lakes — Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility, and Truth. It also features flowers across the mask as a link between different indigenous cultures.
“It worked out perfectly that [the Blackhawks] acquired Marc-Andre Fleury, whose last name [derived from] ‘flower’ in French,” Hunter said.
The Blackhawks acquired Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for minor-league forward Mikael Hakkarainen on July 27. The 36-year-old won the Vezina Trophy voted the best goalie in the NHL for the first time in his career after he was 26-10-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .928 save percentage with the Golden Knights last season.
Selected by the Penguins with the No. 1 pick in the 2003 NHL Draft, Fleury is 492-276-80 with two ties and a 2.55 goals-against average, .913 save percentage, and 67 shutouts in 883 NHL regular-season games. He is 90-70 with a 2.53 GAA, .912 save percentage, and 16 shutouts in 162 playoff games. He won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009, 2016, and 2017.
So far this season, Fleury is 1-7 with a .881 save percentage and minus-7.6 goals saved above average in eight starts for Chicago. He will likely debut the mask Tuesday when the Blackhawks face the Penguins at the United Center.
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