When Marc-Andre Fleury was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft, the goalie and fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins eagerly awaited the league to release the schedule for the 2017-18 season, in order to see when the beloved "Flower" would make his long-anticipated return to PPG Paints Arena.
Well, that day has just about arrived.
Fleury and the Golden Knights face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night, in what will be the second game between the two teams this year. The former Penguins' netminder stole the show in their first meeting, leading his team to a 2-1 victory.
While that game was no doubt special - with thousands of Pittsburgh fans in attendance to cheer on their favorite goalie, this game will bring a whole new level of emotions for Fleury.
"It's been coming," Fleury said, according to NHL.com correspondent Tom Gulitti. "I always say, 'I'm going to think about the next game before there's another one.' But now we're there and it's going to be lots of mixed emotions."
This will surely be a tough test to handle for Fleury, as he's never gone through anything like this before.
"It's tough to know. It's never happened," he said, when asked how he'll handle it. "I guess I had a little taste when they were in Vegas, but I'm sure it's going to be a little emotional, a little crazy, a little different, weird from playing all those years on the other side."
Despite the love affair he had with Pittsburgh, Fleury is happy in his new role.
"I just have a lot fun playing and I wanted to be playing and this team wanted me to come play for them," Fleury said. "I was excited about it, excited about the challenge that comes with a new team. I couldn't be more happy with how things worked out."
And he's excited for the big day.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I've been thinking about it for a while. It will be fun."
Here are some of Fleury's best moments as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Tissues are not included. Make sure to have some ready.