Fleury of mixed reviews

RENATO GANDIA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:17 PM ET

Theoren Fleury's invitation to training camp yesterday saw Internet message boards inundated with mixed reviews as the former Calgary Flames forward attempts to make an NHL comeback.

Sun reader and hockey fan Jason Katzeley said it's a great news and wished Fleury good luck.

"Many people have criticized Theo for his on- and off- ice antics, no one seems to talk about the great things he did as a player," said Katzeley.

"He wore his heart on his sleeve every night. I don't think there was any player with a bigger heart than Theo."

Katzeley said Fleury silenced many naysayers who predicted he'd never make it in the NHL because of his size.

"This only fuelled his fire."

Fleury's colourful career began as a Team Canada member at the world juniors in 1987, where he got involved in a fight against a Soviet Union team, leading to both groups being kicked out of the tournament.

Though the career of 41-year-old hockey player was highly successful it was marred by at least two suspensions due to substance abuse.

A fan known only as McLintock also left a positive message for Fleury at the calgarypuck.com forum.

"You are the reason I became a Calgary Flames fan back in the late '80s!" said McLintock, adding he hopes Fleury is ready to hit the ice again.

Hockey fan Stephen McAdam said the best-case scenario: Fleury comes back for three seasons, total of 60 goals, 80 assists, Stanley Cup.

"Then he has his number retired with all the grace and dignity a player can receive.

"During the ceremony, he'll be bawling like a baby while everyone in the 'Dome explains that they got some beer in their eye."

But, Ricky Grand isn't too excited about Fleury's potential Flames return.

"I really hope he's not doing this for the dough," said Grand.

Mel Lister agreed with Grand and said he hopes Fleury won't be a distracting sideshow for the Flames if the team signs him up.

But Katzeley is more forgiving and said he commends Fleury for turning his life around and for "the fire that still burns deep inside your desire to play the game."

RENATO.GANDIA@SUNMEDIA.CA


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