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Playing With Fire

The Highest Highs And Lowest Lows Of Theo Fleu

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CBA Libris Award for Non-Fiction

About the Book

One of the most influential hockey books of all time, and the runaway blockbuster that changed the way we look at the sport

Finalist for the CBA Libris Award for Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year

Theo Fleury, at 5'6" 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.

The Colorado Avalanche picked up Fleury for the playoffs, and when he signed with the New York Rangers, he was a kid in a candy store. After one season of his next multi-million-dollar deal, this time with the Chicago Blackhawks, 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.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise


“It’s hard to believe Fleury survived his own life.” —The Globe and Mail

“An account the hockey world has long waited to hear, as Fleury’s career had been one of the most spectacularly troubled in NHL history. . . . Fleury lifts the lid on the entire harrowing tale.” —Maclean’s

“Nobody came through in a big game like he did. I played against him when he led the Flames in the mid-’90s. At five foot six and 150 pounds he played at twice that size.” —Wayne Gretzky

“I’ve known Theo Fleury since back in junior, and I always hated playing against him. Theo was the ultimate competitor. He would do anything to win. That kind of attitude is tough to beat. I am really glad Theo has come out on top.” —Joe Sakic

 “As a young player in the League, I was lucky to have a captain like Theoren Fleury. I’ve never played with a more tenacious and determined player.” —Jarome Iginla

“Theoren Fleury was a brilliant hockey player. He excelled in a team game.” —Ron MacLean

“Fleury has won over fans all around the world. . . . we are all cheering for the little underdog in the biggest fight in his life.” —Hockeybookreviews.com

“The emotional story of a young man who despite his size, troubled upbringing, and addictive demons made an undeniable impact on the game of hockey.” —NHL Digest

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781554682409
  • ISBN 10: 1554682401
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 10/19/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • List Price: 19.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: SPORTS & RECREATION / Hockey
  • BISAC2: BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Sports

Playing With Fire by Theoren Fleury, Kirstie McLellan Day

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