Fleury: 'I didn't expect that, it's very touching'

Fleury: 'I didn't expect that, it's very touching'

UPDATE 10 p.m.

Marc Andre-Fleury has been a longtime Pittsburgh Penguin and fan favorite for years but Tuesday night could be the last time his fans get to see him in black and gold.

“It's very flattering. I heard there was a lot more too, waiting in line. It's crazy,” Fleury said.

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Fleury, a three-time Stanley Cup champion goalie, has called Pittsburgh home since 2003.

And judging by the hundreds of fans who turned out to say their goodbyes, he definitely left his mark on the city he loves.

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"He's a great player and a better human being,” said fan John Porter. “It was just something that meant a lot to us."

Fans lined up as early as 4 a.m. Tuesday just to meet the Pens goalie and get his autograph on everything from pucks and hockey sticks to jerseys and helmets.

“There's still so much up in the air. Both of us don't know what's going to happen,” Fleury said.

"Wherever he goes, we'll always be cheering for him,” said fan Dino Andrade. “He'll always be a Pittsburgh hero to us."

“I didn't expect that, and it's very touching,” Fleury said.

Since it may have been Fleury's last night as a Penguin, fans who waited many hours just to shake his hand  told Channel 11 it was worth it.

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Hundreds of people began lining up after dawn Tuesday for a chance to show their affection for Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for maybe the last time.

The crowd of Penguins fans was hoping to get a shot at meeting Fleury at an event held at the Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Cranberry. The first 250 people in line received wristbands allowing them to bring one item for Fleury to sign free of charge.

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The wristbands weren’t handed out until 9 a.m., hours after the line began to form. And the event itself didn’t begin until 7 p.m.

That didn’t deter fans who wanted to see Fleury one last time. The longtime Penguin, who made his first game appearance in 2003, is widely expected to be taken in the NHL expansion draft by the new Las Vegas team on Wednesday night. The Pittsburgh franchise deemed him expendable after the emergence of young goaltender Matt Murray over the past two seasons.

Marc Gwynn, who traveled from Parkersburg, West Virginia, for the event, arrived shortly after 4 a.m. and said the line was wrapped around the building. He was number 250.

"My hand was shaking when I was signing that card and trying to text my wife to let her know I got in," Gwynn said.

Jason Fox, another fan, said, "I was afraid this would be the last opportunity to see him in Pittsburgh, so I figured I should come out and meet him now."