NHL prevents Fleury from wearing special mask for Wild’s Native American Heritage night

Hockey

Marc-Andre Fleury wore a custom mask for the Minnesota Wild’s Native American Heritage night Friday after being told by the NHL it was not allowed.

League prohibits players from wearing specialty equipment for theme nights

Stephen Whyno · The Associated Press

· Posted: Nov 24, 2023 3:35 PM EST | Last Updated: November 25, 2023

Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) wears his Native American Heritage mask in warmups before a game against the visiting Avalanche. Fleury was told earlier in the day by the NHL to not wear the custom mask due to a policy that prohibits players from wearing specialty jerseys, masks, stickers, decals or tape for theme nights. (Nick Wosika/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters) Marc-Andre Fleury wore a custom mask for the Minnesota Wild’s Native American Heritage night Friday after being told by the NHL it was not allowed.

Fleury took the ice for the team’s game against the Colorado Avalanche wearing the specially designed mask. Agent Allan Walsh confirmed earlier in the day the league informed his client he couldn’t wear the mask, even for warmups.

#mnwild’s Marc-Andre Fleury wearing his Native American Heritage mask in warmups pic.twitter.com/HRyQkkR1uY

—@RussoHockey The NHL prohibits players from wearing specialty jerseys, masks, stickers, decals or tape for theme nights.

The league initially banned players from using rainbow-coloured tape on Pride nights before reversing that decision after receiving backlash from around the hockey community. Teams are not allowed to dress players in themed jerseys for warmups this season after a handful of players decided last season to opt out of Pride Night warmups that included specialty jerseys.

With the Wild celebrating Native American Heritage night Friday against Colorado, Fleury wanted to honour his wife, Veronique, who is of Abenaki and Mi’kmaq descent, with a specially designed mask. Walsh said Fleury offered to pay whatever fine he’d receive and the NHL threatened to levy the organization with an “additional significant fine.”

Marc-Andre Fleury indicated he was planning to wear the mask anyway and pay the fine. The NHL then threatened the Wild organization with an additional significant fine. https://t.co/iVmCqyQR2H

—@walsha It was not clear how much either of those fines would be. The Wild had no comment, while messages sent to the NHL regarding the situation were not immediately returned.

Fleury, 38, is a three-time Stanley Cup champion and won the Vezina Trophy in 2021 as the league’s top goaltender.

With files from CBC Sports

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