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Flames offer Theo Fleury a try-out

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

Calgary is where Theo Fleury started his remarkable NHL career. It may also be where he resurrects it after a six-year absence.

Calgary confirmed that Fleury has been invited to attend the Flames training camp, which begins Saturday, on a tryout basis.

"Once we determined that Theoren was training to our standards and the league permitted his return to on-ice competition, it wasn't a hard decision for us to provide him with this opportunity," general manager Darryl Sutter said in a statement.

"In the history of our franchise, he is among the top players all-time and regardless of what happens he can finish as an active player."

Fleury lives in Calgary and played 11 seasons with the Flames. His last season was with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2002-03, after which he was suspended indefinitely for violating the NHL's substance abuse policy.

"I am both thankful and very excited to be given this opportunity by Darryl and the Flames organization," the 41-year-old Fleury said. "I intend to come to camp today with a strong work ethic, a positive attitude and to be treated like any other member of the group."

Fleury was granted reinstatement by the NHL and NHL Players' Association late Thursday.

"I know Theo pretty well," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in Phoenix. "We had spent some time together when things in his life were a little less settled. Seeing him last night, he looked terrific, he sounded terrific, he seems to be in a good place, he's been sober for a number of years. ...

"I hope he can fulfill his dream and come back."

The 5-foot-6 forward had 455 goals and 633 assists in over 1,000 career games with Calgary, the Colorado Avalanche, the New York Rangers and Chicago between 1988 and 2003. He won a Stanley Cup in his rookie season with Calgary and was a member of the Canadian team that won an Olympic gold medal.

Fleury will continue to participate in the aftercare phase of the league's substance abuse program.

He's operated a cement company in Calgary in recent years.

Fleury was to go through fitness testing around noon Saturday and is expected to meet with media later in the afternoon.

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