Fans in frenzy for No. 14

DOUG MCINTYRE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

The Flames official merchandise store expects a flurry of business should a certain pint-sized forward score a pact with his large-sized comeback attempt.

As Theoren Fleury continues his stirring bid at age 41, fans are streaming into Flames FanAttic to customize jerseys with the legendary agitator's signature No. 14.

"I've seen a huge pick up since this comeback began, of customers coming in and a lot of them ask if we have Fleury jerseys already," said Blain Rife, manager at FanAttic's North Hill location.

"A lot are bringing in their jerseys or buying a jersey and sending it away to get 'Fleury' stitched on it."

Customizing the jerseys typically takes three to four weeks, but some Fleury fanatics are paying an extra fee for a rush job of five of seven business days, said Rife.

The fact the former Flames sniper remains on the bubble with the NHL club has not burst the bubble of fans, though official jerseys bearing his name and number are not yet stocked.

That won't happen unless he inks a contract with the team he broke into the league with back in 1988-89, the Flames' lone Stanley Cup-winning season.

"When a player actually signs a contract, then they send out the quick rush for jerseys," said Rife.

He noted FanAttic had 12 to 20 Jay Bouwmeester jerseys on the shelves within hours of the Flames officially announcing the star blueliner's signing.

"Our warehouse sends the stock to us the same day an announcement happens," said Rife. And if the latest twist in the Fleury saga has a Hollywood ending, Rife foresees a major scrum at the shelves.

"If he signs a contract, we probably won't be able to keep them here long enough -- it's going to be nuts."

doug.mcintyre@sunmedia.ca


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