Lankinen not fazed by Fleury acquisition: 'I still want to be No. 1'

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Kevin Lankinen wants to make it clear he isn’t taking the Chicago Blackhawks’ acquisition of Marc-Andre Fleury personally.

Rather, he wants to seize the opportunity to learn from the three-time Stanley Cup champion, who is 10 years his senior.

"I still want to be No. 1. That’s my goal. I like to compete," Lankinen said, according to Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times. "The way I see it, if you want to be the best one day, you've got to learn from the best, you've got to compete with the best, and at the end of the day, you've got to beat the best."

Lankinen noted he was "pumped" when the Vegas Golden Knights traded Fleury to the Windy City in July, despite the fact Chicago's crease is now a lot more crowded.

Although he surprised the Blackhawks with a strong rookie performance in 2020-21, which saw him author a .909 save percentage and 3.01 goals-against average, he's going to take a bit of a backseat to the reigning Vezina winner.

"It's a really good opportunity. He's a guy I have a lot of respect for. He's been through a lot. He's in the position where I want to be one day," Lankinen said. "Getting the chance to get to know him, learn from him, compete with him, it'll be huge."

The puck drops on the Blackhawks' season Oct. 13 against the Colorado Avalanche.

Lankinen not fazed by Fleury acquisition: 'I still want to be No. 1'
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