Stars G Jake Oettinger got to meet his childhood hero, Marc-Andre Fleury; Fleury made his night

Mike Armenti
February 19, 2022  (10:48)

When it comes to Chicago Blackhawks netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, it's fair to suggest that he is one of the most influential goaltenders of his era. Everything from his style of play to his competitive streak, to his persona on and off the ice just screams "consummate professional".

Have you ever heard the phrase "never meet your heroes?" Well, it's because the ideal of the individual often does not lineup with the reality. That's simply not the case with Fleury, who by all accounts is a gem of a human being both on and off the ice.
On Friday, 23-year-old Jake Oettinger got to meet his hero. Prior to lining up 200-feet on the opposite end of the ice from him, Oettinger had a chance to meet up with Fleury. The Stars netminder had received a gift from his stepmother when he was young - a Fleury fathead cutout, much like this one - but from his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Oettinger had kept the foam cutout in his bedroom until he was a teenager. Fleury was obviously a pretty big influence on the young goaltender. He even wears Fleury's #29 for the Stars.
During his meeting with Fleury, he asked the 37-year-old for a stick - a piece of memorabilia he could have with him for life to commemorate the very special moment. Fleury, of course, obliged him.
Fleury and Oettinger went on to put on a goaltending clinic, playing to a 0-0 draw through regulation and overtime. Oettinger and the Stars would end up winning one in Chicago in a 6-round shootout. Oettinger's parents and his girlfriend were present at the game.
"In high school, I was obsessed with (Fleury)... To go against him was really cool, especially to get the win in such a cool building with a great atmosphere and to have my parents and girlfriend here too, was really cool."

-Oettinger on picking up the win at United Center.
This one will certainly be a night to remember for the up-and-coming goaltender. He has a very bright future, and if he plans to follow in the footsteps of his idol, Marc-Andre Fleury, perhaps he'll be in a similar position one day where he'll be able to do the same for one of his young fans.
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