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Fleury defies NHL by wearing special mask for Wild's Native American Heritage night

Marc-Andre Fleury Native American Heritage Night helmet Marc-Andre Fleury Native American Heritage Night helmet - Minnesota Wild

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.

The NHL 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.

With the Wild celebrating Native American Heritage night Friday against Colorado, Fleury wanted to honor his wife, Véronique, an Indigenous woman, 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. The Wild had no comment, while messages sent to the NHL regarding the situation were not immediately returned.

Fleury did not play on Friday and did not speak to reporters after the game.

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


AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell contributed.