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Penguins lock up Fleury with seven-year, $35 million deal

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Darren Dreger
7/3/2008 10:19:44 PM
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A day after signing core players Evgeni Malkin and Brooks Orpik to long term deals, the Pittsburgh Penguins took care of their goaltender on Thursday.

Marc-Andre Fleury has signed a seven year, $35 million extension with the club and the deal includes a no-move and limited no-trade clause that triggers in 2010-2011.

"That's where I want to be," Fleury said on a conference call. "I love this city, the organization, the guys on the team."

The no-move prevents the Penguins from placing Fleury on waivers, while the limited no-trade still allows for some flexibility with Fleury controlling the list of teams he would consider in the event Pittsburgh wants to trade him.

"He is extremely gratified to be part of the Penguins core going forward," Fleury's agent, Allan Walsh, told The Associated Press. "The contract shows a lot of confidence the team is placing in him and Marc is making a statement to all that Pittsburgh is where he wants to be playing."

Fleury, 23, helped the Penguins win the 2008 Eastern Conference championship and a date with the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final. Fleury was 14-6 with a 1.96 goals-against average, a .933 save percentage and three shutouts during the playoffs.

Fleury was scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1, but the Penguins offered him salary arbitration in June to effectively keep hm off the market.

By offering arbitration, the Penguins retained the right to continue negotiating with Fleury in advance of the hearings, slated to take place between July 20 and August 4. The move also prevented other clubs from signing Fleury to a restricted free agent offer sheet and forcing the Penguins to match or accept draft picks as compensation.

Fleury was the number one pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, but struggled early in his career - as many young goalies do.  He had a breakout season in 2006-07, posting 40 wins and a 2.83 goals against average to go with a .906 save percentage.

Although his numbers were strong again this season, Fleury struggled with an ankle injury, missing 27 games. He finished the regular season with a 19-10-2 record, four shutouts and a 2.33 goals against average with a .921 save percentage.

 

Marc-Andre Fleury  (Photo: Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
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