Goalie sent to Wilkes Barre/Scranton

Updated: April 12, 2004, 6:41 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the NHL's No. 1 overall draft pick last year, was sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Monday for the start of the AHL playoffs.

Fleury, 19, became available when his junior team, Cape Breton, lost in the first round of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs. Fleury was 1-3 with a 3.10 goals-against average and .886 save percentage during the playoff series after going 8-1-1 with a 1.98 goals-against in the regular season.

Fleury was Pittsburgh's starting goalie when the season started, then was loaned to Canada's junior world championship team before going back to Cape Breton in January. The Penguins made the move partly to avoid paying Fleury $3 million in contract bonuses.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, which begins the playoffs Thursday night at Bridgeport, already has goalies Sebastien Caron and Andy Chiodo. Caron joined the team after Pittsburgh's season ended, while Chiodo (18-19-2) was Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's most-used goalie during the season.

Fleury was 4-12-2 with a 3.64 GAA and .896 save percentage for the Penguins. He was the NHL's rookie of the month in October.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press