Minnesota Wild goalie Marc-André Fleury was told by the NHL that he could not wear his specially painted mask to pay tribute to the First Nations during an evening in their honor, his agent said Friday.
Allan Walsh confirmed his client was told he would not be able to wear his mask, even during the warm-up. The league prohibits players from wearing special jerseys, masks, stickers and ribbon at theme nights.
As the Wild pays tribute to the First Nations against the Colorado Avalanche, Fleury wanted to pay tribute to his wife, Véronique, who has indigenous origins, with this mask specially designed for this occasion. Walsh said Fleury offered to pay any fine the NHL might impose on him. The Bettman circuit then threatened the Wild with a heavier fine.
We do not know the amounts of these fines. A message left with the NHL went unanswered.
Aged 38, Fleury has won the Stanley Cup three times and the Vezina Trophy, in 2021.
Earlier this season, the league decided to ban rainbow ribbons on evenings honoring the LGBTQ+ communities, before reversing this decision following the outcry. Teams can no longer provide themed jerseys at these parties after a handful of players decided not to participate in warm-up periods before these games.
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