HGFC 2011 Player Profile: Theo Fleury
The 2011 Hockey Greats Fantasy Camp is nearly underway. For the days leading up to this year’s event, I’m going to be sharing a player profile for each former pro that will be at this year’s camp. all these player profiles were compiled by me (statistical and biographical info gathered from various sources), made to sound nice, and were printed in various editions of the Kelowna Daily Courier. If you didn’t get a chance to pick up a copy, enjoy the free version!
Fleury’s NHL career spanned from 1988 to 2003. Standing at 5’6” in a league full of giants, he is arguably the best “little” player to have ever played the game. He was Calgary’s 8th round pick in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. He would go on to compete for the Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, and Chicago Blackhawks; but is unquestionably best remembered for his time as a member of the Calgary Flames from 1988-1999. In his rookie season with Calgary, he helped the team win its first and only Stanley Cup championship in the 1988-89 season.
Over 16 seasons, he appeared in 1,084 NHL games, and totalled 1,088 total points; averaging more than a point per game. Many older fans will recall him excitedly sliding backwards on his knees across the ice while fist-pumping, after scoring an overtime game winning goal against the Edmonton Oilers in the 1991 playoffs. He is still a prominent figure in Calgary Flames team statistic history; he is 2nd is all-time goals (364), 3rd in assists (466), 2nd in total points (830), 4th in plus/minus (+148), 3rd in power play goals (107), 1st in short-handed goals (28), 2nd in game-winning goals (53), and 1st in overtime goals (5). He was also the Flames’ team captain from 1995-1997.
**HGFC Fun Factoid: Fleury was such a popular player in Calgary that during a game in 1999, Fleury was sent off the ice to change a bloody jersey. A fan then threw his own jersey over the boards so that Fleury would not miss a shift. He put the jersey on before realizing it was autographed and handed it back. **
Internationally, he suited up for Canada at the 1991 Canada Cup, and for the 1996 World Cup. He also represented Canada twice (1998, 2002) at the Olympic Winter Games, and won the gold medal in 2002; after Canada famously defeated the United States in the final, their first Olympic hockey gold medal since 1952. Fleury would later call the Olympic victory the pinnacle of his career.
Fleury attempted an NHL comeback in 2009, after not playing in the league for 6 years. He appeared in 4 exhibition games and scored 4 points with the club, but ultimately was not included on the team’s main roster. This marked an official end to his competitive hockey career, and he has since moved on to other ventures; including writing his autobiography (entitled, “Playing With Fire”), filming a reality show pilot, public speaking appearances, starting a clothing brand, an appearance on CBC’s “Battle Of The Blades”, and running an annual charity golf tournament in Calgary that raises money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada.
For further information on the camp please visit http://www.hockeygreats.ca