Monday, September 21, 2009

A Flurry of Fleury

Theo Fleury's comeback bid is certainly taking flight, no doubt making it hard for the Calgary Flames coaching to staff to deny him one more shot at a spot on an NHL roster.
With his reinstatement in place earlier this month, Fleury marked his return to NHL action at the age of 41 and after a six year absence. Since his arrival in the Flames camp, Fleury has provided for more than his share of the items of interest in what normally is a rather boring pre season schedule of hockey.

Last week he scored a goal in a shootout, winning a game for Flames in his first appearance back on the ice and on Sunday his breakaway goal once again brought Flames fans to their feet providing for a goal and an assist in the Flames pre season victory over the Florida Panthers.

His return to hockey, for him is a way to wrap up a career the right way, having left the game six years ago in a fashion he feels left him unfulfilled and wondering if he had made the right decisions.

Of course, that departure culminated his years of troubled times, from dependency issues to bursts of anger that tarnished a remarkable rise for one of the NHL's smaller players who always loomed larger on the ice.

A chance to re-iginite his passion and end his time in the game on his terms was provided by the Flames, who made no promises, but simply a spot on the training camp roster to see if indeed Fleury still had the tools to perform at the high levels of NHL competition.

So far, he's been exemplary in conduct in camp, fitting in with his team mates, many of whom probably were watching his exploits from the TV sets as youngsters. Used in a variety of scenarios by coach Brent Sutter, Fleury so far has been keeping the pace, regaining his skating legs and as the scoring sheets show adding up some numbers.

But if the real measure of the success of his comeback so far can be measured, its through the excitement level that seems to be arriving in these usually tedious exhibition games, bringing fans to their feet for games that are one level above a practice scrimmage certainly says a lot about the impact that his story is having on Flames fans.

That excitement and his contributions on the ice thus far certainly will have many watching the Flames roster moves over the next few weeks, wondering if Theo Fleury will get to continue his shot at a return into the regular season or if he starts the comeback year down on the farm in Abbotsford.

Calgary Herald-- Theo's making it tough for Flames to say no
Calgary Sun-- Theo makes most of it vs. Cats
CBC-- Fleury scores in Calgary win: NHL pre-season

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