Theo Fleury nets 3 points in his return

Former NHLer Theo Fleury had a goal and two assists in the Horse Lake Thunder's 6-5 win over the Spirit River Rangers on Saturday night.

Fleury was cleared to play for the senior hockey team after winning his second appeal to Hockey Alberta on Friday.

"It felt great," Fleury said. "It was a long time coming."

"It's just nice to get out there and compete. It was fun."

Fleury was allowed to play after Hockey Alberta received documents from both the NHL and NHL Players' Association that said he was a free agent and not a locked-out player in the current labour dispute.

Fleury wasn't originally allowed to join the team because he was still under contract with the Chicago Blackhawks last season.

Players under contract for the 2003-04 season and who are currently locked out are ineligible to compete for the Allen Cup, awarded to the top senior team in hockey.

Fleury and the Thunder argued that he should be allowed to play because he hadn't played a single game for Chicago last season, undergoing the league's program for substance abuse.

The 36-year-old forward last appeared in an NHL game with the Blackhawks 17 months ago.

Fleury is a native of Russell, Man., and had 1,088 points (455 goals, 633 assists) in 1,084 career NHL games.

with files from Canadian Press