Playing With Fire

Theo Fleury recounts his days as an NHL superstar and what is was like growing up in a chaotic home.

Theo Fleury, with Kirstie McLellan Day

At 5'6", Theo Fleury made a name for himself in a game played by giants. A star in junior hockey, he became an integral part of the Calgary Flames' Stanley Cup win in 1989. Fleury's talent was such that despite a growing drug habit and erratic, inexplicable behaviour on and off the ice, Wayne Gretzky believed in him. He became a key member of the gold medal-winning men's hockey team at the 2002 Olympics.

After one season of his next multi-million-dollar deal, Fleury suddenly called it quits and wouldn't explain why. In Playing with Fire, Theo Fleury takes us behind the bench during his glorious days as an NHL player and talks about growing up devastatingly poor and in chaos at home. Dark personal issues haunted him, with drinking, drugs, gambling and girls ultimately derailing his Hall of Fame-calibre career. (From HarperCollins)

From the book

When I was with the New York Rangers in 2001, I had thirteen dirty tests in a row, but I was leading the NHL in scoring. So what were they going to do? I was putting Gatorade in the tests. And although he didn't know it, my baby Beaux was peeing for me too. The NHL doctors kept warning me, "Another dirty test and we're taking you out." So what did I do? C'mon, I've never followed a rule in my life

At the time, the Rangers were writing me yearly cheques for eight million bucks, so I'd be surprised if they weren't having me followed. I could feel these guys in the shadows, and once in a while, out of the corner of my eye, I'd catch someone zipping across the street when I turned my head.

From Playing With Fire by Theo Fleury ©2010. Published by HarperCollins.