Friday, 16 October 2009

Theoren Fleury On The Hour

When I'm home early enough at night, I always catch The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos on CBC. He always has excellent guests on, and his interviews are better than most cut-and-dry, standard questions-and-answers. His interview with Gary Bettman last season wasn't confrontational by any means, but it certainly laid some groundwork in seeing inside the NHL Commissioner's mind. On Wednesday evening, George featured Theoren Fleury as one of his guests. Normally, Theo would be an excellent guest simply based upon his hockey experiences, but with Fleury's new book out and the allegations of sexual abuse involving Graham James, I was glued to the television for this interview.

Thanks to a great YouTuber, Theoren Fleury's interview is available to watch. The interview is broken into two clips that are approximately ten minutes in length, but it is an extremely good interview. I'll post the two videos here, and open up some discussion below.

First, I want to be clear about something: I'm not here to debate whether the allegations against Graham James are true or not. I'm not a judge or jury, and everything will sort itself out if Theoren Fleury decides to go ahead and press charges. As was seen in the case involving Sheldon Kennedy, Graham James got what he deserved for the atrocities he committed in that situation, and now Fleury has a chance to put those demons to bed.

Secondly, I don't want to hear any sorts of character assassination on Theoren Fleury. He wrote the book, he played the game of hockey in a way that only Theo Fleury can, and he is the man sitting in the chair with George today.

My question is this: knowing all that we know about Fleury today - with all his successes and battles - do you respect him more now as a person than you did when he was his feisty self in the NHL? Let me know in the comments. And, if you like, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the interview as well.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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