Flames give Fleury a chance
Former star out of the game for 3 seasons after substance trouble
Theoren Fleury's comeback attempt will be in the city of his greatest triumph.
The Calgary Flames announced Saturday they have offered the troubled former star a tryout as camp gets underway in Alberta.
"Once we determined that Theoren was training to our standards and the league permitted his return to on-ice competition, it wasn't a hard decision for us to provide this opportunity," general manager Darryl Sutter said.
"In the history of our franchise, he is among the top players all-time, and regardless of what happens, he can finish as an active player."
Fleury, a 41-year-old native of Oxbow, Sask., last played with the Chicago Blackhawks three years ago, when he entered a substance-abuse program sanctioned by the National Hockey League and the NHL Players' Association.
So far, Fleury said things are going well at camp.
"I've done 14 fitness tests with the Calgary Flames and this is the best one I've done," Fleury told reporters after his fitness testing.
The league reinstated the 455-goal scorer this week, saying he will be monitored by two doctors, one each appointed by the NHL and the NHLPA.
"I have to earn everything again and I'm OK with that," Fleury said. "I'm here to try and make a really good team that has a really good chance to do some good stuff this year."
A diminutive forward, Fleury helped lead the Flames to a Stanley Cup in 1989 and won a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
"His skill has never left him," defenceman Robyn Regehr said. "It might be a bit rusty because he hasn't played at the level of that he's going to be used to at this camp and exhibition games.
"He's going to have to try to keep up with the guys. Not just the young guys but the older guys and everyone is in very good shape at the camp. That's going to be something that's pretty tough."