Penguins loan Fleury to junior team

Dec. 7, 2003 at 9:46 PM

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- The Pittsburgh Penguins agreed Sunday to loan rookie goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to Team Canada for the upcoming World Junior Championships.

Penguins General Manager Craig Patrick made the announcement Sunday while his team was playing the Calgary Flames.

"We think it's best for Marc-Andre and ourselves long-term," Patrick said.

Fleury, the top overall pick in the 2003 draft, has an incentive-laden contract that calls for a $3 million as soon as he plays at least one period in 25 games. The cash-strapped Penguins have considered returning Fleury to his junior team and Patrick admitted financial considerations would factor in the decision.

The 19-year-old has played 16 games, going 4-9-2 with a shutout, a 3.15 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.

Fleury starred at last year's world junior tournament, earning top goalie honors.

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