Theoren Fleury was born June 26, 1968 in Oxbow, Sk, but lived most of his adolescent life in Russell, Mb. The son of Wally and Donna Fleury and the older brother to ted and Travis. The Fleury's were metis being part Cree on their fathers side. Theo came from a broken home. His mother being a drug addict and his father an alcoholic made him grow up quickly. Always being the smallest , Theo made sure he showed anyone who would test him that he wasn't afraid. This is shown in his style of play.
Theo described himself as a bully after adopting his aggressive persona. he then turned to hockey as an outlet. Never having much money, Theo went to his first game with an rusty pair of skates and a broken stick. From that point on, he played hockey at every opportunity. his Father worked at the rink in Russell giving him all the ice time he needed
Theo's chances of playing in the NHL were almost crushed at a young age. When he was in twelve and under a skate cut his arm severing his brachial artery. He missed a full year of contact hockey and had to watch his team win a provincial championship without him.
Fleury began his junior career when he was 15, in 1983. He played with the St. James Canadians in the MJHL, scoring 33 goals and 64 points in 22 games. In 1984 he moved to the Moose Jaw Warriors, scoring 29 goals and 75 points in 71 games.
Theo started his NHL career in 1989 with the Calgary Flames. Getting called up halfway through the season he scored 34 points in 36 games as a rookie. He added 11 points in the playoffs, helping the Flames to the first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history.
In 1990–91, Theo scored 51 goals and 104 points. He played in the 1991 All-Star Game, scoring a goal in an 11–5. That year Fleury set a league record by scoring three shorthanded goals in one game against the St. Louis Blues. He shared the NHL Plus-Minus Award with Marty McSorley. They tied for the league lead with +48. Fleury scored only two goals in the 1991 Stanley Cup Playoffs, one of them being an overtime winner in game six against the Oilers. He famously slid the entire length of the ice in celebration. The Flames were defeated in game seven, which ended their season.
Theo had an 11 year career with the Flames where he only missed a total of 7 games
Theo slides end to end after OT goal
After his time in Calgary Theo bounced around the league playing for Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks. Fleury only spent one season with Colorado before moving onto New York. Fleury's first year was a disappointment. He scored only 15 goals in 1999–2000, struggling under the pressure of trying to lead the Rangers into the playoffs. After the season, he voluntarily entered a league-operated program that treats substance abuse and emotional problems.
Fleury rebounded to score 30 goals in 2000–01 and palayed in his seventh All-Star Game. He scored his 400th NHL goal on November 4, 2000, against Montreal Canadians. Fleury was leading his team, and was fourth in the league, with 74 points in 62 games, when the Rangers announced that he had again entered the league's substance abuse program ending his season.
Fleury played with Team Canada in both the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, winning a gold medal in 2002.
New York traded Fleury's playing rights to the San Jose Sharks, but instead Theo signed a two-year, $8.5 million contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. Two days prior to the opening of the 2002–03 season, he was suspended by the NHL for violating the terms of the league's substance abuse program.
Fleury missed the first two months of the season before being reinstated. While out with teammates in January 2003, he was involved in a brawl with bouncers at a strip club in Columbus, Ohio. Fleury finished the season with the Blackhawks, recording 12 goals and 21 assists in 54 games. Following the season, in April 2003, he was suspended again by the league for violations of its substance abuse program. The suspension ended his NHL career
Cause of Substance Abuse
Theo had a lot of problems growing up but these did not contribute to his drug addiction and alcohol abuse. During his rookie season and later years with junior his junior teams, he was repeatedly molested by his coach Graham James. This amounted to a life long fear of people finding out and potentially ending his one chance as a professional hockey player. Fleury continued to battle drug and alcohol addictions, revealing in a November 2004 interview that he had not overcome the problems that ended his NHL career a year and a half earlier. His second wife, Jennifer, was the one who turned his life around when they met while Theo was playing senior in Horse Lake in 2005.
In 2009 he wrote the bestselling novel “Playing with Fire,” an autobiography describing his difficult past and telling his stories of troubled home life, sexual abuse, the use of drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism and overcoming addiction. He has since become a public speaker, speaking nationally and internationally to thousands. Sharing his story with others offers help to victims and survivors to overcome the fear and pain of abuse. Fleury hosts Theo Fleury 14 Hockey Camp to teach, inspire and educate young hockey players.
During his time of junior hockey, it wasn't recommended that players finish high school. most players would get jobs to fit with their schedule instead. Theo never talks about graduating high school in his book but their is also nothing saying that he didn't
Theo never attended university but in 2014 Theo was awarded with an honorary doctorate in Science from University of Guelph-Humber for contributions to the Mental Health of Canadians. Most recently Theo was given a second honorary doctorate in Law from Brandon University.
Theo has been awarded the Canadian Humanitarian Award, The Queen’s Jubilee Medallion, and is an Honorary Chief and recipient of the Aboriginal Inspire Award. During his junior career Theo was awarded the Bob Clarke Trophy and was IIHF World U20 Championship Tournament All-Star in 1988. In his pro career he won a Stanley Cup, was awarded the NHL plus minus awarded and was given the Molson Cup by the Calgary Flames. Theo has also started his own country music career. He released his first single titled "My Life's Been a Country Song" and it reached over 20,000 plays on Soundcloud within the first 24 hours of being released. His debut record I Am Who I Am was released on October 16, 2015. A project that was 6 years in the making
Significance to Canada
Theo is significant to Canada because of the work he's done with the Mental Health of Canadians and for his outstanding efforts to promote healing and recovery. He has also made huge contributions with combating child sexual abuse.
Reason for Choosing
The reason why I picked Theo Fleury was because with all that he went through he found a way to use his story to help people. Also, after he got clean he made an NHL comeback attempt with the Flames in 2009. Though he didn't make it he still scored he still came back scoring four points in four games.
Fleury and Jarome Iginla in 2009