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Fleury's mask honoring Native Americans nixed

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Published in Hockey
Friday, 24 November 2023 13:22

Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was told by the NHL he could not wear a custom mask for the team's Native American Heritage night, his agent said Friday.

Allan Walsh confirmed his client was informed he couldn't wear the mask, even for warmups prior to the Wild's game against Colorado. The league prohibits players from wearing specialty jerseys, masks, stickers, decals or tape for theme nights.

The league initially banned players from using rainbow-colored 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.

Fleury wanted to recognize the Wild's Native American Heritage night and honor his wife, Véronique, who is Native Canadian, 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."

It was not clear how much either of those fines would be. A message sent to the NHL seeking comment was 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.

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