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Playing With Fire

The Highest Highs and Lowest Lows of Theo Fleury

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CBA Libris Award for Non-Fiction

About the Book

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

Theo Fleury, who had walked away from hockey in 2003, leaving millions of dollars on the table and thousands of fans asking why, was determined to redeem himself. But how? With a comeback. Six years after his last NHL game, at age 41, weighing 215 pounds and with 25 per cent body fat, he had only seven months to get ready for the Calgary Flames training camp. His chance for redemption came in a pre-season game against the New York Islanders. The score was 4–4 going into a shootout when his coach leaned over and told him, “You’re up next.”

In this fully up-to-date edition of Playing with Fire, Fleury gives readers the inside story on how his life has changed since this book was first published. Along with the original, fearlessly honest tale that captivated the nation, he now chronicles his NHL comeback. In the same frank, fast-paced style that made his book a blockbuster, Fleury shares fascinating new stories about life as a 41-year-old rookie, as an author on the road, and as a man in the spotlight following the disturbing news that his former coach Graham James had been pardoned for his horrific crimes. Playing with Fire is Theo Fleury’s journey to hell and back, a book no one can put down or will ever forget.

Finalist for the 2010 CBA Libris Award for Non-fiction Book of the Year

Hockey Book of the Year (Denver Post)

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: 9781554687978
  • ISBN 10: 1554687977
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 10/19/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • List Price: 11.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: SPORTS & RECREATION / Hockey

Playing With Fire by Theoren Fleury, Kirstie McLellan Day

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