POST OLYMPIC BONUS


Canada 5 – USA 2. CONGRATULATIONS to TEAM CANADA and the people of
Canada. Well earned win. I will try my best to refrain from US based sour
grapes —– about the game…….because my congratulations are sincere.

That said – At least we don’t scour REHAB CENTERS to staff our team ! CHT
is a different story – as I DON’T WISH HIM WELL. In fact – I would say
that the drugs may still be in the system – as I spot a LIE here. Let me
deliver two articles on the subject matter – and lets’ discuss it ! My
comments in (fill in color)
> Fleury’s journey from hell to heaven: Gretzky’s gamble: ‘Wayne Who’ gives
> troubled player shot at redemption
> George Johnson
>
> 02/25/2002
> National Post
> Toronto
> Page B06
> (c) National Post 2002. All Rights Reserved.
>
>
> SALT LAKE CITY – As he stood out on the ice, soaking it all in, the flags
> and the singing and the pandemonium, as he received his gold medal and
> heard his anthem played, Theo Fleury allowed his mind to drift back to a
> phone call he’d received in a Santa Fe, N.M., rehab clinic last summer.
>
> It seemed like any other day in the clinic, a day for trying to cope with
> his dependency. Then one of the staff approached him. “There’s a phone
> call for you,” the woman said.
>
> “From who?” Fleury asked.
>
> “Wayne,” she replied.
>
> “Wayne who?”
>
> As Fleury was relating this story to a crush of reporters in the interview
> area at floor level of the E Center, who else but Wayne Who just happened
> to be passing, and his slapped his friend Theo — the talented but
> troubled person he’d shown such faith in — on the shoulder pad. Wayne
> Who, of course, was, is, Wayne Gretzky and all those months ago he was
> calling to tell Fleury he wanted him at Team Canada’s Olympic orientation
> camp in Calgary in September.
>
> He wanted him to be part of the answer in Salt Lake.
>

Can you see Herbie Brooks calling a rehab center saying ” Hey you substance
abuser – want to be part of Team USA?” I didn’t think so!

> “People can’t imagine how much that meant to me,” Fleury said , holding a
> Canadian flag that had been thrown on the E Center ice in tribute. “I was
> trying to take my life back and that was such a gesture of support, of
> confidence.
>
> “I start off in hell,” he continued, eyes still misty, “and here I am now,
> in heaven.
>
> “This is the best moment of my life. After what I’ve been through, to be
> here with these 23 guys … this is it. This is everything.
>
> “It’s an unbelievable experience to hear your anthem played after the
> game, not before it.”
>
> Oh, there was enough happiness and rejoicing and much hugging among the
> Canadian players in the aftermath of yesterday’s decisive 5-2 defeat of
> the Americans. But Fleury, his emotions exposed like raw nerves, cried
> openly, and didn’t much care if anyone saw him.
>
> He is unquestionably the feel-good story of this Canadian feel-good story,
>
OH PLEASE !! GIVE ME A BREAK ! With all the security around – CHT could
not get to any drugs – or attack any mascots !!
CHT is NOT the Canadian Feel Good story. That is just silly.

> “I was going to be the guy that let Canada down, that went nuts or did
> something stupid. But I believed in myself, this team believed in me, and
> here we are.
>
He did take some stupid penalties – and that said – he did play well in the
title game. No doubt about that. But I would never have taken him. If it
weren’t for the short leash they had to have Theo on —– he could have
slipped.

> “We just got better and better, we trusted the process. We knew we were
> going to win. Knew it. Guys on this team have won 15 Stanley Cups, World
> Championships, Canada Cups, World Junior Championships. Every guy’s a
> leader in his way.
>
> “Ever since that Czech game [a 3-3 tie] we’ve had this quiet confidence.
> We didn’t care what other people said or wrote about us.
>
> “The guys in our room understood what it was going to take.”
>
> In a game of such unbridled intensity, the Canadians’ hunger was
> undeniably greater. They won most of the battles for loose pucks, finished
> their checks with gusto and always seemed to be one step ahead.
>
Agreed – but maybe things would have been different if they had to play the
Russians instead of Belarus? They had some luck too.

> Was this, Fleury was asked, a battle of one team [the Americans] that
> wanted to win versus one [the Canadians] that had to win?
>
> “That,” he replied evenly, “is a good way to put it.”
>
He is 100 % correct here. Sincerely, I feel great for the Canadian people –
I know how much this game must have meant. Congratulations.

> And for a guy who lives in Santa Fe and earns a fat living in New York,
> Fleury sounded like someone whose heart was still in Russell, Man., or
> maybe even Calgary.
>
> “I’m a hockey player,” he said. “A Canadian hockey player. Canada still
> puts by far the most players in the best league in the world. Until it
> changes, I don’t want to hear any more about that subject. We had our fair
> share of critics early on in the tournament. But as a group, this team
> showed all the doubters that it could represent our country and our game
> the right way.” Same goes for him.
>
Then take you and your new pal Wayne and move back to Canada. Tell Wayne to
take his American Wife, his American Children, His American property, his
Phoenix Coyotes – who also found Canada to be unacceptable and MOVE BACK.
We don’t want you ! Show some respect for both TEAM USA and this country.
America did not lose to Sweden or squeak out a 1 goal win vs. Germany!
—————————————————————————————————-

> Fleury Finds Gold at End of Tough Journey
> Canada’s win caps comeback from troubles
> By Joe Gergen
> Staff Correspondent
>
> February 25, 2002
>
> West Valley City, Utah — The first in line to receive his gold medal
> after Canada defeated the United States, 5-2, to win the Olympic Winter
> Games men’s hockey tournament yesterday was the one who had come the
> farthest. The distance Theo Fleury traveled can’t be measured in miles.
> His journey was one of personal redemption.
> Lets see if he stays clean for another year before we declare him
> “redeemed”. Let’s see if he does not QUIT on his team, punch out mascots
> and tackle referees. I think that he has a ways to go.
> Almost a year to the day since the Rangers announced that the feisty
> forward was entering the NHL’s substance-abuse program, Fleury stood in
> the middle of the rink at the E Center with a medal around his neck and a
> bouquet of yellow roses in his hand. In what he called “the proudest
> moment of my career,” he made it a point to stop and smell the flowers.
>
> “Those are the things I’ve always taken for granted,” he said. “Not
> .anymore.”
> Let’s hope so. Let’s hope you start to appreciate all the good things
> that have happened to you.

Among those he thanked were “everyone who supported me,” which included
counselors and sponsors who helped him through rehab. Despite getting 30
goals and 44 assists in the Rangers’ first 62 games last season, he was a
troubled soul. He also has missed a few games this season for personal
reasons. But he put all that behind him in this tournament and played with
the energy, fire and abandon that Canada needed to win the battles in the
corners and along the boards.
> He did not play well the whole tourney – but – he did play well on Sunday.
> That you have to give to him.

Fleury didn’t hold himself up as a representative of Canadian hockey but he
said he understood why his team overcame a weak performance in its first
game and had gotten better as the games grew bigger. “What sets us apart,”
he said, “is how we play, with determination and heart.”
> So did Belarus. So did USA. So did the Russians. What set you apart was
> having a more talented team that FINALLY showed up for a game. THAT is
> what happened. NO need to knock the other teams in the tournament –
> saying that they don’t have the same determination and heart that Canada
> has. NOT TRUE!
> Wayne Gretzky, the general manager who selected the team, said after the
> medal ceremony that he felt particularly pleased for Fleury because he was
> subjected to so much scrutiny. “He did exactly what we picked him for,”
> .Gretzky said. “He gave us grit.”
> Did he pass the Drug Test yet? He should have been subject to a heavy
> level of scrutiny. Punching out Mascots is strike one – Quitting on
> teammates is strike two – There have been so many strike threes – I
> stopped counting.

Fleury recalled getting the call from the Canadian icon, a onetime opponent.
“I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in my kitchen,” he said. “The voice said,
‘Hey, it’s Wayne.’ I said, ‘Wayne who?’ He was inviting me to join the team.
It was May 4. Things changed for me after that.”
> OK CHT – look at the article above – were you in the REHAB center – or –
> your house when you got the call???? Are you being misquoted or are you
> being misleading??? — OR —– have you taken up PERMANENT residence in
> the REHAB Center????? Then you would not be lying.

Even though Fleury’s behavior on the ice this season can best be described
as erratic, Gretzky has stood behind him. “He’s been behind all of us from
Day One,” Fleury said. “There’s been no changes.”
> Gretzky put a helluva team together. While there should have been other
> players besides CHT on the team – they did win. You cannot take that
> away.

The 5-6 forward from a small town in Manitoba last won a championship in a
Team Canada uniform in 1991 at the Canada Cup, when he was 22.

> “When I was a little kid,” he said, “I basically lived at the rink. Every
> time I was able to watch Canada play [on television] was special. I was a
> fan. To be playing with guys like Mario now is amazing. My role here was
> different than in New York. But winning is not easy.
>
> “I probably won’t take this off for a while. But, for me, it’s all about
> the process, and the memories.”

Oh, so will the Devils Mascot be at the Garden tomorrow ?? Just askin!
CHT should not have been on the team. I am sure that others will say that
the end justified the means — but CHT – going through a REHAB program –
being asked to play in a pressure cooker of a situation like Team Canada –
is not the best thing for his recovery. I wonder if worrying about Team
Canada caused him to punch out SJ Sharkie, or quit in Pittsburgh on his
employer ? Team Canada was a lose-lose situation for CHT. If they win –
they are supposed to – if they lose – it would have been a National
Trauma…..and a significant setback for CHT. The next Ranger$ road game
is March 5th at Minnesota. Attention Life Insurance Salespersons – contact
the mascot of the Minnesota Wild – he needs a life insurance policy as CHT
is coming to town !

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