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Flames All-Time Countdown Chapter CXLIII: 4. Theoren Fleury

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Diminutive right winger Theoren Fleury dazzled us for parts of 11 seasons in Calgary. He ranks second on the club all-time with 364 goals and with 830 points.

4. Theoren Fleury

Theoren Fleury, a native of Oxbow, Saskatchewan, was born on June 29th, 1968. A 5’6", 180 lb. right winger, he had three standout seasons with the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors, starting in 1984-85. He totaled 29 goals and 75 points in his first year, 43 goals and 108 points in his second year, and 61 goals and 129 total points his third season. Despite his diminutive stature, he made an impression on the Flames, who picked him up in the eighth round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft with the 166th overall selection. He spent another season with Moose Jaw after his selection, lighting the lamp 68 times with 92 assists. He also made a two game appearance with the IHL’s Salt Lake Golden Eagles, scoring three goals with four helpers.

In 1988-89, Fleury split his year between Salt Lake (40 games, 37 goals, 37 assists, 81 PiM) and Calgary. He earned his first (and last) call up to the Flames. After going scoreless in his first game, he earned three assists in his second, an 8-6 win against the Los Angeles Kings on January 5th. He scored his first two goals in his next game, a 7-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers two days later. In just 36 contests, he finished with multiple points 11 times, including three where he had three. He scored 14 goals on 89 shots, with 20 assists, a plus-5 rating, and 46 minutes in the penalty box. Of course, the Flames won the President’s Cup with 117 points, later winning the Stanley Cup by defeating the Vancouver Canucks, the Kings, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Montreal Canadiens. Fleury scored five goals with six assists in 22 games.

1989-90 would see Fleury play in all 80 Flames’ games, sinking 31 of his 200 shot attempts. He added 35 assists to rank eighth on the high-powered club with 66 points. He went plus-22 and ranked third on the team with 157 penalty minutes. His high volume of scoring, and the era in which he played made his "truculence" more acceptable. He led the club with three shorthanded goals and three game winners, earning 5.5 point shares as the Flames’ second/third line right winger. He had 18 multipoint games through the campaign, including two markers and one assist on the 25th of January, in an 8-5 win over the New York Rangers. Calgary finished the season with a 42-23-15 mark before losing in the opening round of the postseason to the Kings in six games. Fleury had a pair of goals, three assists and 10 penalty minutes in the series.

Fleury lit the lamp an NHL-second 51 times on 249 shots in 1990-91, with 53 assists and an NHL leading plus-48 rating. His career high and NHL-eighth 104 points led the team, edging out defenseman Al MacInnis by one point. MacInnis won the point share metric on the team however, with Fleury second at 11.2. He also ranked seventh on the team with 136 penalty minutes. He led the team with a league-second seven shorthanded goals and with an NHL-third nine game winning markers, appearing in his first all-star game. He had 29 multi-point game, with 10 games of three or more. He racked up five hat tricks on the season, including on February 23rd when he added two assists in a 10-8 win against the Quebec Nordiques. Calgary closed the season at 46-26-8, earning 100 points and a second place finish in the Smythe Division. The Flames drew the Edmonton Oilers in round one of the playoffs, losing in seven games. Fleury had two goals, five assists, and 14 penalty minutes. One of his two goals was this overtime game winner:

In 1991-92, Fleury played in 80 games for Calgary, scoring a team-second 33 goals on 14.7% shooting, 225 shots total. He also made 40 assists with an even rating and a club-sixth 133 penalty minutes. His six game winners doubled the next highest Flame, and his 6.0 point shares placed him fourth amongst the team’s skaters. His efforts would be rewarded with his second all-star selection. He started out his season with a bang, lighting the lamp twice while assisting on two other goals in a 9-2 win over Edmonton. He had 19 multipoint games, including six times with three or more points. In the midst of Calgary’s "golden years," this season was an aberration with the club finishing at 31-37-12.

1992-93 would see Fleury finish with triple digit points for the second time in his career, scoring 34 times on 250 shots along with 66 helpers for a club leading 100. He racked up 88 penalty minutes, and posted a team-fifth plus-14 rating. He was second out of the club’s skaters with 8.1 point shares. 25 times he would record more than one point, including a hat trick on November 4th in a 5-5 tie with the Vancouver Canucks. On February 10th, he had a goal and five assists in a 13-1 drubbing of the San Jose Sharks. Calgary went 43-30-11 to place second in the Smythe Division with 97 points, only to lose in the first round to the Kings in six games. Fleury held up his part, totaling five goals and a dozen points with 27 penalty minutes.

Fleury continued his assault on NHL goaltenders in 1993-94. He reached 40 goals for the second time, on 278 shots, along with 45 assists to place second on the team with 85 points. He was fourth with a plus-30 rating, and second with 186 penalty minutes. He also wired in the game winner six times, and had a club-fourth 9.2 point shares. His 25 multipoint games included a single hat trick, on March 31st in a win over the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-1. Calgary won 42 games against 29 losses with 13 ties, winning the renamed Pacific Division with 97 points. Fleury again led the way in the postseason, scoring six goals and 10 total points. The Canucks still won in seven games.

In 1994-95, Fleury played in 47 games out of the strike-shortened season. He scored a team leading 29 goals on 173 shots, with as many assists for a Flames-best 58 total points, a plus-6 rating, and 112 penalty minutes. His 6.8 point shares tied Phil Housley for the team-lead, behind only Trevor Kidd’s 7.4 goaltender point shares. Fleury had 16 multipoint games and six three-point games. On April 17th, he scored twice and dished out two assists as the Flames defeated the Kings, 5-2. The Flames’ 24-17-7 record earned them a Pacific Division Title, and a first round date with the Sharks. San Jose sent them packing in seven contests. Fleury averaged two points per game, scoring seven points and seven assists.

1995-96 would see Fleury make his third all-star team, powered by a 46 goal, 50 assist campaign. German Titov was second in both categories, 18 goals and 11 assists behind. Fleury’s 353 shots were third most in the NHL. He earned 112 minutes in the box for the second year in a row, and posted a plus-17 rating. He had four game winners, and led the club with 11.1 point shares. On two dozen occasions he earned multiple points, including three hat tricks. On December 13th, he had a short-handed goal along with four assists in an 8-4 win over the Dallas Stars. On January 16th, he scored three goals, including one at four-on-five, along with an assist in a 5-5 tie with the Kings. The club posted a 34-37-11 mark, admitting them to the playoffs. The Chicago Blackhawks demolished them in four games. Fleury had two goals and an assist.

Fleury took 336 shots on goal in 1996-97, ranking him second in the NHL. He only sunk 29 of them, posting his worst shooting rate to that point with an 8.6% mark. He would add 38 assists, a minus-12 rating, and 104 penalty minutes. Despite his down-year, Fleury led the team in goals, assists, and point shares, with 6.9, making his fourth all-star appearance. He had 18 games with two or more points and five with three. He earned another hat trick on October 22nd as the Flames defeated the Colorado Avalanche. Calgary finished with a disappointing 32-41-9 record.

Fleury earned a then-career high and team-leading 197 penalty minutes in 1997-98, making his fifth all-star team. He ranked seventh in the NHL with 51 assists, scoring 27 goals on 292 shots, with 8.9 point shares, all team leading totals. He again had 24 multiple point games. On October 30th, he scored twice, including the game winner along with an assist as the Flames downed the Phoenix Coyotes, 4-2. He earned four assists on January 24th in a 5-2 win against Vancouver. Calgary continued their downfall, finishing with a franchise-worst 26-41-15 record on the season.

In 1998-99, Fleury played his first 60 games of the season with Calgary, totaling 69 points with 30 goals and 39 assists. He finished with multiple points on 17 occasions, including two hat tricks. On October 10th, he contributed to every Flames goal in a 5-3 win over the Sharks, with three markers and two assists. Despite him getting traded away three-quarters of the way through the season, he led the team in goals and points, placing second with 8.5 point shares and played in his sixth all-star game in his 10th full NHL season. On February 28th, the Flames dealt him with Chris Dingman to the Avalanche for Rene Corbet, Wade Belak, Robyn Regehr, and a draft pick (Jarrett Stoll).

Fleury scored 10 goals and 14 assists in only 15 games with Colorado. He later played three seasons with the New York Rangers (224 games, 69 goals, 132 assists, 406 PiM) and one with Chicago (54 games, 12 goals, 21 assists, 77 PiM).

All-Time Statline: 791 games, 364 goals, 466 assists, plus-148 rating, 1339 penalty minutes, 81.52 point shares.