First it was Claude Lemieux.
Now it’s Theoren Fleury who wants to make a comeback to the NHL.
Fleury’s career was truly one of ups and downs. Many people remember him sliding on his knees down the ice after scoring a big playoff goal. He was also instrumental in Canada’s gold medal at the 2002 winter Olympics.
But some also remember Fleury clucking like a chicken on the bench at an opponent, or his way too public battle with drug and alcohol.
But he’s now been sober for four years, and doesn’t like the way his NHL career ended. So he would like another opportunity to make it right. Think of it as Sylvester Stallone making a last Rocky because he realized Rocky 5 wasn’t the best ending to the movie legacy.
Fleury, who should make it to the hall of fame whenever he does decide to retire, is a point-per-game player, once scored 50 goals in a season, has won a Stanley Cup, Olympic gold, World Junior Gold and a Canada Cup gold.
He also once scored three short-handed goals in the same game.
If Fleury wants to make it back, he has to get past the NHL head office, as he’s on an indefinite suspension. Hopefully the league realizes what a good story this is, and gives him the opportunity to succeed.
It would be nice if he could play one more season with the Calgary Flames (although it probably won’t happen because they’re so close to the salary cap), but he’ll probably have to go with a team like the Atlanta Thrashers.
If Fleury wants to come back to the NHL, more power to him. I hope he succeeds, and gets out of hockey on his own terms.
Until he plays again, enjoy these three Youtube videos of Fleury.
This one is the goal where he slid on his knees.
This one is part of a series of funny hockey commercials.
The final one has to do with the 1987 World Junior Championships, when Canada and Russia got involved in a giant brawl. Eventually, the refs left the ice, the lights were turned out, and the players kept fighting. Both teams were suspended for the rest of the tournament. In case you’re wondering on the connection, Fleury was slashed by a Russian player to start the brawl.