Theo Fleury will once again play at the Saddledome in Calgary where the former National Hockey League forward starred throughout the late ’80s and ’90s.
But Fleury, a 44-year-old Metis, will not be attempting another comeback to the NHL, as he unsuccessfully did in 2009.
Instead, Fleury, who played in 1,161 NHL contests, winning the Stanley Cup in 1989 with the Calgary Flames, is now working hard at getting his country music career off the ground.
A step in the right direction will occur on Friday when Fleury will perform the first song he wrote – titled As The Story Goes – during a Johnny Reid concert held at the Saddledome, in conjunction with the reknowned Calgary Stampede.
The annual Calgary Stampede, which includes a rodeo, parade and concerts, is a 10-day event billed as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. It annually attracts about 1 million visitors.
As for Reid, he was chosen as the Male Artist of the Year by the Canadian Country Music Association in 2008 and ’09.
“This is the new career now,” said Fleury, who also played in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks and last played in the league in 2003.
Though he’ll be singing just one song at Friday’s concert, along with his seven-member band simply called Theo Fleury, the ex-hockey star said he’s received plenty of attention prior to the event.
“Potential bookings are coming in because of it,” he said. “We’re hoping to do some gigs in September.”
Fleury is also hoping to release his first album in the near future.
“We have enough songs to get an album done but we just don’t know which way we’re going to go with it yet,” said Fleury, adding band members are contemplating whether to self-produce an album.
Since he is one of the most popular Flames of all-time, Fleury can expect a thunderous ovation on Friday.
“I would hope so but I’m not really sure what to expect,” he said. “Hockey and music are two different things. Every professional athlete though wants to be a rock star. And every rock star wants to be a professional athlete.”
Fleury is no stranger to the spotlight. This past March he was a host for the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards in Vancouver.
Also, in 2009 he co-wrote Playing With Fire, a best-selling autobiography in which he revealed he had been repeatedly sexually abused by his junior hockey coach.