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Playing with Fire: The Highest Highs and Lowest Lows of Theo Fleury
#1 Canadian Bestseller
Harper Collins Canada

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.

Related Reviews

Well, it finally happened. I knew it would at some point. Frankly I was hoping for it. After a year and a bit of formally reviewing plays in Calgary, I finally gave my first standing ovation.

Jessica Goldman

“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, Captain, Colorado Avalanche

"His team was not marked by a uniform. Theoren went around everyone... So as you enter the ever-expanding circle of Theoren's life, look for the secret. The freedom to be. The courage to act. It's Fleury's life, but it's a circle of you."

Ron MacLean, Hockey Night in Canada

"Fleury lived in fear throughout his pro career that the truth about he and James would come out. He quickly learned that liquor and drugs dulled his anxiety, and Playing with Fire recalls that descent in painstaking detail."

Charlie Gillis
MacLean's Magazine

"In his new book, Theoren Fleury talks for the first time about the secret that started his descent into darkness."

Erin Valois
National Post

"Theo Fleury’s autobiography Playing with Fire is as direct and hard hitting as his play was on the ice... he brings every imaginable skeleton out of his closet for all to see."

John Chidley

"This was one interesting read. Most hockey books are amalgams of amusing anecdotes about teams or players told by reporters who have covered them. Very seldom do we hear the story from the perspective of an actual player."

M. Hurley

"Theo and Kirstie wove a story that drew me in, leaving me laughing and crying as I flipped the page."

Sarah McNeil