The next Chapter for Theo Fleury

Former Flames sniper Theo Fleury set a new record in Red Deer on Wednesday.

Roselyn Hildebrand of Ponoka has her photo taken with former NHL star Theo Fleury during a book signing at Chapters Wednesday night. Please see related video at bprda.wpengine.com.



Former Flames sniper Theo Fleury set a new record in Red Deer on Wednesday.

Due at 6 p.m. to sign copies of his book, Playing With Fire, Fleury was drawing a crowd by 3 p.m.

Within four hours, he had set a new record for the largest crowd ever to pack the Red Deer Chapters store for a book signing.

“Nobody expected this,” said store manager Brett Edginton, watching the lineup of people snaking between his shelves.

The store had 337 copies of the book available for sale on Wednesday morning. By closing time, they were all gone. Edginton said he hopes to get more copies in next week.

Ron Rodgers, who was only 11 when Fleury joined the Flames, said he was a Fleury fan from the get-go and chose to wear No. 14 when he played minor hockey.

“He was my favourite player.”

A key element of the book is Fleury’s allegation that he was sexually abused as a young player by coach Graham James, the same man convicted of abusing Sheldon Kennedy.

Fleury’s younger brother, Ted, said the allegations came as a surprise to him and other members of his family, who learned about them shortly before the book was first published.

Going public with his story has changed Fleury’s outlook on life, said Ted.

“He’s really focused on helping people with anything that they need. He’s in a good place now. That’s the biggest thing.”

Ted said he doesn’t know how much longer his brother could have kept his story bottled up without it becoming more destructive.

“Somebody who’s had something like that happen to them, they need the right tools to get themselves better. Over the years, he’s gotten the tools to help him re-frame his thinking.”

Ted said he is not up to date with Fleury’s attempt to have charges laid against his former coach.

Rodgers and others waiting in the lineup said they found the sexual abuse story hard to take.

David Clark, 31, purchased two copies as Christmas gifts.

“It was shocking that that type of thing happens. It’s not shocking that he’s writing a book about it.”

Regarding Fleury’s comeback effort with the Flames, Clark said it’s just as well that he didn’t make the team.

“I think it probably went as far as it should,” said Clark.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Number of seniors who play bridge in Red Deer growing

Red Deer Bridge Club has been around for close to 60 years

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Indonesia’s Lombok island jolted by multiple quakes

SEMBALUN, Indonesia — Strong earthquakes jolted the Indonesian tourist island of Lombok… Continue reading

Afghan president calls for Eid cease-fire, Taliban to reply

KABUL — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has called for a conditional cease-fire… Continue reading

Montreal may have less influence after October provincial election

MONTREAL — When Coalition Avenir Quebec Leader Francois Legault recently dismissed the… Continue reading

Privacy issue with online pot sales after legalization needs watching: experts

TORONTO — Buyers who have to provide personal information to purchase recreational… Continue reading

Range of reactions to possible holiday to mark legacy of residential schools

The federal government’s intention to enact a statutory holiday aimed at remembering… Continue reading

Wildfire smoke from B.C. gets in the way of mountain scenery for tourists

JASPER, Alta. — Smoke from wildfires that’s blanketing parts of Alberta does… Continue reading

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

The once meat-dominated world of fast-food and casual restaurants is starting to… Continue reading

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Hundreds of people have lined the route of a funeral… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month