Being a member of Team Foligno has a lot of perks, like playing in front of the hometown crowd and getting to dress in the Blue Jackets’ locker room.
But for Marc-Andre Fleury, the part he’s most looking forward to is not hearing that annoying cannon go off if he lets in a goal in the 2015 NHL All-Star Game on Sunday at Nationwide Arena.
“Hopefully the cannon won’t go when I get scored on, right? That’s a good thing,” he joked.
Fleury was selected by captain Nick Foligno of the hometown Blue Jackets and his alternates Drew Doughty (Los Angeles) and Patrick Kane (Chicago) in the ninth round of the All-Star Fantasy Draft on Friday at The Greater Columbus Convention Center.
The Penguins and Blue Jackets have built up a friendly rivalry after their incredibly exciting First Round playoff matchup last season, with Pittsburgh winning the series in a hard-fought six games. Fleury, Foligno and Ryan Johansen are looking forward to being teammates for a weekend instead of having to battle against each other.
“Finally I don’t have to shoot against that guy,” Foligno laughed. “He’s a great goalie. I was actually really happy we picked him. It’ll be nice to get to know him a little bit instead of having to battle against him every time. It’ll be a lot of fun, so for sure enjoying that.”
On that same vein, Fleury’s excited he won’t have to go up against Kane in Saturday’s Skills Competition after the Blackhawks forward scored a shootout goal on him to lift Chicago to a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh in their last game before the break on Wednesday.
“I’ve had enough of him (this week),” Fleury grinned.
This was by far the most entertaining All-Star Fantasy Draft in NHL history. One of the highlights was Alex Ovechkin begging to be picked last so that he could get the car that goes to Mr. Irrevelant. He even wrote on a piece of notebook paper with black marker, “I WANT TO BE LAST. I NEED A CAR.”
Another highlight was captain Jonathan Toews saying he picked Phil Kessel second overall because “he’s one of the most coachable players out there,” before flipping him to Team Foligno for Tyler Seguin because, as Foligno put it, “it worked out for both teams in the past.”
Those were Fleury's favorite moments from the night.
“I thought ‘Ovi’ was a little intense when he didn’t get the car,” Fleury laughed. “I don’t think you guys heard everything on camera, but there were a few bad words. And I think the captains did a great job. They were good with picking Kessel, reminding everyone he’s a very coachable guy, and making that trade after. So it was good. It was funny.”