SUN Hockey Pool

Fleury far from done

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:48 AM ET

He's on the business end of 40 now, running a successful business in a city that's constantly booming.

Clean and sober for three years, remarried and happy with his place in life and the game of hockey, Theo Fleury, though, still has a plan.

And it's a doozy.

"I don't have an Allan Cup, I don't have a Memorial Cup and I don't have a world championship ring," Fleury was saying yesterday from the offices of Fleury's Concrete Coatings, in Calgary. "Before I die, I'm going to get all three."

The first, the pride of Russell, Man., hopes, will come later this season, when he suits up for the Steinbach North Stars in the Allan Cup, the national championship for senior, AAA hockey.

Fleury signed up when his younger brother, Ted, who's also going to play, told him the North Stars were hosting the championship.

Two years apart, the brothers will play organized hockey together for the first time, continuing a family tradition begun by their father.

"That's going to be awesome," Fleury said. "Our whole family grew up around senior hockey. That's the reason why we ended up in Russell, Manitoba. My dad was recruited to play senior there, and they gave him a job with the town."

Fleury hasn't played competitive hockey since the 2005-06 season, when he suited up for the Belfast Giants in Ireland.

His NHL career crashed and burned in a cloud of substance abuse following the 2002-03 season, in Chicago.

But wherever he's gone, whatever his state of mind, Fleury has scored goals -- 489 of them in the NHL.

"That never leaves," Fleury said. "You either have it, or you don't have it. It's something you can't teach. And if you could teach it, you'd be a millionaire."

Fleury won't get rich playing in the Allan Cup -- the North Stars will pay to fly him in for a handful of weekends during the season, and nothing more. His first two-game set figures to be Dec. 12-13, in Hartney and Souris.

The Allan Cup is set for Steinbach, in April.

As for the other items on Fleury's bucket list, he's hoping to get back into junior hockey as an owner, where he'll shoot for the Memorial Cup he never won with the Moose Jaw Warriors.

"I've got something in the works," is all he'd say.

The world championship, Fleury figures, could come as a special assistant to Team Canada some day, in whatever capacity he's wanted.

"I'll be the stick boy, I don't care. I haven't talked to anybody there, yet. But there's a world championship every year. I've got lots of time."

Regardless, Fleury's place in the game is secure, his Stanley Cup championship with the Flames in '89 and Olympic gold in '02 enough for most collections.

"I know I was one of the greatest players that ever played the game," he said. "I've got the numbers to back it up. I've got the rings in my closet at home.

"Despite what happened at the end, I don't think there was ever any little guys that have played the way that I've played and had the success that I had."

The 5-foot-6 dynamo's biggest splash may come off the ice.

Fleury has begun to write his life story, an unvarnished, tell-all account (reported working title: Driven By the Devil) to be released next fall.

Fleury has said nothing will be off limits in the book, not the life of excess he enjoyed while playing in the NHL, the addiction that eventually drove him from the game, not even his long-rumoured involvement in the Graham James scandal during his days in junior.

It seems there's still rarely a dull moment in the life of Theo Fleury. That hasn't changed.

At the same time, everything has.

"Three years of sobriety," Fleury said. "It's good. My life has completely done a 180-turn."


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