NHL Won't Stand in Way of Theo Fleury's Long Trek Back from Substance Abuse

Warren ShawCorrespondent IISeptember 11, 2009

Former NHL all-star Theoren Fleury's comeback attempt was provided inertia Thursday after he was reinstated for on-ice play by the NHL and the NHL Players' Association.

Fleury had been under indefinite suspension for violating the NHL's substance abuse policy, but the Saskatoon, Canada native says he's now sober and is hoping to get an invite to an NHL training camp.

Fleury's chances of making a NHL squad are still a longshot.  He's 41 years old and hasn't played in the league since the end of the 2002-03 season.

The 5'6" forward made up for his size during his  NHL career with a speedy, aggressive style. He scored 455 goals and added 633 assists in over 1,000 career games with the Flames, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks between 1988 and 2003. He won a Stanley Cup in his rookie season with the Calgary Flames.

He was also a member of the gold medal Canadian Oympic Team in 2002.

Fleury battled alcoholism throughout his career indicating knowledge of the problem 15 years ago. His problems with alcohol affected what could have been a  Hall of Fame career. 

Fleury continues to participate in the after-care phase of the NHL substance abuse program.