Marc-Andre Fleury is preparing for his 20th National Hockey League season, and the three-time Stanley Cup champion isn't ready to hang up the skates just yet.
The well-liked goaltender spoke to the media as the Minnesota Wild opened training camp ahead of the 2023-24 campaign on Thursday.
“I just told myself I would give myself the season. See how it goes, see how I feel physically, mentally, and if I still can stop the puck and just make a decision at the end,” the Canadian explained.
“I don't want to think about it too much every game, you know, ‘Oh, it's going good, I'll play again' or ‘Oh, it's going bad, I don't want to play anymore.' There'll be ups and downs this season. I just want to get through it and then make a decision at the end.”
The 38-year-old refused to make a definite decision when the Wild were beaten by the Dallas Stars in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and confirmed back in April that he planned to at least play in the 2023-24 season.
“But that might be it,” he told reporters after another disappointing early playoff exit in the State of Hockey.
Whether or not the upcoming campaign is Fleury's last season, he will go out as one of the best and most highly-regarded netminders in league history.
He's a shoo-in for the Hockey Hall of Fame, with 544 victories ranking him third on the NHL's all-time wins list. He's just seven victories away from passing Patrick Roy, a feat that he is set to accomplish in 2023-24.
And he has the chance to be the fourth goalie to suit up for 1,000 games; he currently owns a career .913 save percentage and 2.58 goals against average over 985 appearances.
Fleury spent the first 13 years of his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, helping the team win the sport's ultimate prize in 2009, 2016 and 2017. He also played for the Vegas Golden Knights and Chicago Blackhawks before being traded to the Wild in 2022.
He split the crease with young star Filip Gustavsson last season, and posted a very respectable 24-16-4 record with a .908 save percentage.
Regardless of his age, Marc-Andre Fleury is still a more-than-competent NHL goalie, and he'll look to help Minnesota return to the postseason in 2024.