In the pantheon of the Calgary Flames, there have been quite a few skilled players of smaller stature. Before Johnny Gaudreau, and slightly overlapping with Joe Mullen late in that player’s tenure, was Theoren Fleury. Equal parts small, talented and ferocious, Fleury was a tremendously good and important player for the Flames.
He’s #10 on the countdown.
Player, 1989-99
A product of the prairies, Fleury played his junior hockey with the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors – a strong hockey club that unfortunately was the site of horrible abuses by then-coach Graham James upon several players, including Fleury.
Fleury had strong performances on the ice throughout much of his junior tenure, emerging as one of the top Canadian junior players of his era and also playing a starring role for Team Canada – he was a major part of the infamous Punch-up in Piestany at the 1987 World Juniors. Fleury was selected by the Flames late in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft, with the thought that perhaps he could be a draw for the minor league Salt Lake Golden Eagles.
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Fleury went pro in 1988, joining the Golden Eagles and emerging as their best player. With the Flames needing a boost at mid-season, Fleury was called up to give the team a shot in the arm. He never went back to the minors and he was tremendously useful depth for the Flames team that won the Stanley Cup in 1989.
From then on, Fleury was the Flames’ best player, especially as the team traded away many pieces of the 1989 roster in the years that followed. Incredibly talented and a strong skater, Fleury overcame his lack of stature by attacking each game like it was an actual war – he regularly ranked among the club’s leaders in both points and penalty minutes. He served as team captain for two seasons (1995-97) following Joe Nieuwendyk’s departure before relinquishing the role.
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In his final season with the Flames, 1998-99, Fleury became the club’s all-time leading scorer and then was traded to Colorado as the Flames and his camp were unable to come to terms on a new deal. Fleury and Chris Dingman were sent to the Avalanche in exchange for Rene Corbet, Wade Belak, Robyn Regehr and a first round pick.
Fleury subsequently spent time with the Rangers and Blackhawks, and captured gold with Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics, before his career was derailed by substance abuse issues and subsequent suspensions. He played in England and briefly attempted a comeback with the Flames before retiring in 2009.
Fleury was a heck of a hockey player, and one of the big bright spots for the Flames during a really challenging period for the club both on and off the ice.
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Top 50 Flames of All Time

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