SUN Hockey Pool

Theo Fleury longshot for Hall of Fame

ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:08 AM ET

It doesn’t look like Theo Fleury will be getting into the Hockey Hall of Fame anytime soon.

Due to the indefinite suspension that hung over him for years, his lone season in Europe and a brief tryout in Calgary, there was confusion over exactly when the former Flames captain became eligible for Hall inclusion.

A Hockey Hall of Fame official confirms the Little Big Man has actually been eligible since 2009, meaning he’s been overlooked by voters twice.

Next year is a weak year for first-year eligible players as goaltender Ed Belfour is the only obvious choice for inclusion amongst four possible entrants.

Common sense would suggest the voting mishap that kept Joe Nieuwendyk and Doug Gilmour out last year will be rectified, meaning there should be one more spot open to go to any number of worthy candidates led by Pavel Bure, Eric Lindros, Steve Larmer, Dave Andreychuk and Adam Oates.

The class of 2012 includes Joe Sakic, Brendan Shanahan, Mats Sundin, Jeremy Roenick and Curtis Joseph, while 2013 is highlighted by shoo-ins Scott Niedermayer, Chris Chelios and Rob Blake.

A captain, a Stanley Cup winner, an entertainer and an author of more than 1,000 points and 1,000 games, a pretty solid argument can be made for Fleury’s inclusion.

However, the competition is pretty stiff over the next few years, meaning that if Fleury is ever going to get the ultimate accolade, it’ll have to happen many years after wrapping up his career, as happened to Dino Ciccarelli.

Now for more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a sports world that knows no matter what lies ahead legally for Flames forward Brett Sutter, there could be no harsher a punishment than having to call his father/boss Darryl in Europe with news of his arrest in Arizona.

Around the horn

Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban responded to our report on HNiC that he has a renewed interest in investing in ownership of the Dallas Stars. He did so after attending Saturday’s big fight card at Cowboys Stadium, where Manny Pacquaio won a unanimous decision. “I’ve said all along that I will discuss an investment with any potential buyer if the price is right and it gets me control of the arena,” Cuban said via e-mail. “The Stars’ lack of ownership is dragging down the performance of the arena, and I’m hoping someone steps in quickly.” … Great sign at a recent Canucks road game: “Daniel, your brother is ugly.” … Currently residing in the where-are-they-now file is former Flames coach Greg Gilbert, who was fired last week by the AHL’s Adirondack Flyers after a 2-10-1 start in his second season with Philadelphia’s feeder club. He was replaced by former Winnipeg Jets coach John Paddock ... Former Sportsnet broadcaster Christine Simpson is in the new SAW 3D flick, playing a talk show host in former Tampa Bay Lightning owner Oren Koules’ seventh instalment of the horror series.

Parting gifts

I asked Brett Hull last week for his thoughts on the (now-nixed) potential of a coach’s challenge concerning goals involving goaltender interference: “Is there a coach that was ever a goal-scorer?” … He may be off the air, but he isn’t out of the picture, as long-time voice of the Edmonton Eskimos, Bryan Hall, will be the Grey Cup parade marshall … Global’s loss is Sportsnet’s gain as one of the world’s worst fantasy owners, Ryan Leslie, will replace Jamie Thomas as the Edmonton/Calgary reporter for the national broadcaster. Thomas moves on to Toronto with Sportsnet … With the Argos in need of a quarterback next year and Jim Barker well aware of Drew Tate’s abilities, why then did the 26-year-old re-sign last week to remain a backup in Calgary? … Kinda like the all-star idea floated out there by HNiC Radio’s Jeff Marek — have the players play for escrow. Winners don’t have to pay it. I’d block shots for an 18% raise.


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