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Theoren Fleury’s a hometown hero

The Story

Fans love them and hate them, but what do Major League Baseball managers actually do? Montreal Expos special consultant Jim Fenning tells The Inside Track that it's all about communication, and muses on how times have changed for big league coaches. This episode also stops into Russell, Man., a prairie town gone nuts over native son and Calgary Flames sparkplug Theoren Fleury. An editorial by sportswriter Bill Guy recalls the past glory of the Allan Cup with concern for its future.

Medium: Radio
Program: The Inside Track
Broadcast Date: May 20, 1989
Guests: Ted Fleury, Donna Fleury, Harry Neale, Len Pelts, Edie Pelts, Vern Rosnoski
Reporter: Bill Smith
Duration: 6:06

Did You know?

• Montreal Expos special consultant Jim Fenning played catcher for the Chicago Cubs and managed minor league baseball for the Milwaukee Braves before joining the Montreal Expos as their first general manager in 1968. He held several positions with the Expos over the following 25 years, including a stint as field manager that took the team to its one and only National League East title in 1981. He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

• Jimy Williams started with the Toronto Blue Jays as a third base coach in 1980, taking over as manager from Bobby Cox in 1986. He was fired after a losing start to the 1989 season. Cito Gaston, then the hitting coach for the Jays, was hired to take over from Williams. Gaston took the team to the top, winning the American League East pennant his first year at the helm. He coached the Jays to back-to-back World Series wins in 1992 and 1993.

• Hockey player Theoren Fleury would go on to become the all-time leading point scorer for the Calgary Flames. Just two months after this segment aired, Fleury and his teammates beat the Montreal Canadiens in six games to hoist the Stanley Cup for the very first time in Calgary.

• The Allan Cup was first awarded in 1908 and remains the annual prize trophy of senior amateur hockey in Canada. It was donated by Sir Montagu Allan, a Montreal-born business magnate and sports enthusiast, after the Stanley Cup shifted from being the trophy of amateur hockey to the cup for professional teams.

• Bill Guy was a sportswriter and editor for the Port Arthur News Chronicle and The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal for 34 years. He passed away on Sept. 16, 2003. He was 74.

• The answer to the trivia contest in this episode is the St. Louis Blues.

• Fleury stayed with the Flames until 1999, when he was traded to Colorado where he played only a brief stint before joining the New York Rangers for three seasons.

• In 1998 and 2002, the scrappy right-winger was tapped to play for the Canadian Olympic team. Although the 1998 team finished out of the medals, the 2002 team captured gold for Canada.

• Fleury was not new to international play. As a junior, he was at the centre of the infamous 'Punch-up in Piestany', which took place during the final game of the 1987 World Junior Hockey Championships. It led to the disqualification of both the Canadian and the Russian teams.

• In 2002-2003, Fleury signed with the Chicago Blackhawks, but did not finish the season after he was suspended indefinitely for violating the terms of his substance abuse aftercare program. Fleury signed for one year with Belfast of the British Elite Ice Hockey League in 2005. It was his last engagement as professional hockey player.

• This report gives two different heights for Theoren Fleury. His official NHL recorded size was five feet six inches, not five feet five inches as the introduction indicates.




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