Theo Fleury's long line of accomplishments includes: Stanley Cup champion, Olympic gold medalist and seven-time NHL All-Star. Now he can add "country music artist" to his resume.
Over the past two years Fleury has worked in a recording studio making "hockey tonk", something he describes as "a mixture of his life experiences on and off the ice combined with his love of country music".
On Friday night at the Calgary Saddledome, a place where he made many memories as a Calgary Flame, Fleury debuted as a country artist opening for Johnny Reid. Here's a clip of him singing "As The Story Goes", a song Fleury wrote himself and he and partner Jamie Sale skated to during Season 2 of Battle of the Blades:
Many of Fleury's songs, like "As The Story Goes", were influenced by the life experiences detailed in his autobiography "Playing With Fire". He wasn't in a rush to turn into a country musician, as he told ESPN before his debut:
"It will be different," he said about returning to the Saddledome with the ice covered by a floor and stage. "I'm excited for the opportunity. I take it very seriously. It hasn't happened overnight. I've gotten to work with some very talented people in the music industry. This is where it led to."
Having to relive the nightmare of his experiences with Graham James while writing and promoting the book, and with James' recent two-year conviction for sexually abusing Fleury and his cousin, music is another outlet for the 44-year old to express his emotions, as he told the Globe and Mail in 2010:
"There's a saying, 'The truth will set you free.' I know I can do pretty much anything I want to do. That's how I'm going to deal with this issue."
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy