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Chucker44
04-25-2005, 02:39 PM
Fleury's Thunder and fury

Verbal bombshells will be a lasting memory of Allan Cup

By JOSH ALDRICH -- Sun Media

LLOYDMINSTER - The Thunder Bay Bombers went 0-2 in the round-robin, upset the Horse Lake Thunder in a semifinal and went on to win the Allan Cup, but the week that was in the Border City will likely be remembered for Theo Fleury's verbal bombshells.

The Horse Lake forward and ex-NHL star gave reporters an earful throughout the week and had lots to say after his team's 7-5 semifinal loss to the Bombers.

"We brought awareness to this tournament," Fleury said. "Every single ticket for this event was sold out, why? Because of the Horse Lake Thunder. Not because of the Thunder Bay Bombers or the Lloydminster whatever they call themselves. It was because Horse Lake was here, and that's the only reason this tournament was a success.

"The only reason this tournament's sold out is because of yours truly right here. We all know it, and I'm going to say it. Once again Theo Fleury puts hockey on the map once again, when it needs it the most. Right now. And that's all I've got to say."

This was despite the fact the Allan Cup committee was selling tickets en masse back in October before the Thunder were even a known commodity and five months before Fleury joined the Thunder.

The event sold out its ticket packages by early March - there was a spike in sales due to the Thunder's inclusion in the tournament, but it was hardly even close to being a main factor of success, says committee member Barry Gunn.

"This community is a big supporter of senior hockey and the Allan Cup. Ticket sales were strong all through the fall and into January and February," he said.

"Corporate support has been really strong and that's why it has been a success."

Indeed, the stands were full throughout the week, especially for Horse Lake games.

But, make no mistake, the Thunder were the villains in the eyes of the local fans, who gave Thunder Bay a standing ovation after the clock ticked down Saturday night.

Fans took particular aim at Fleury, especially after his comments about alleged racism and fans hit the airwaves and press earlier in the week.

"Every night there was a comment from the stands, but look at the source. It's a guy that carries a lunch pail to work everyday. He's a frustrated human being, he doesn't want to face his problems head-to-head, so who's the perfect target? Theo Fleury," he said. "Theo Fleury is a perfect target for that guy. He's had fame, he's had success, he's had fortune, he's been highly publicized."

Thunder teammate Sasha Lakovic says it's politics that have kept them out of the Allan Cup final and taken away their opportunity to represent Canada at an international tournament.

"Honestly, do you think those two teams that are going to play (Sunday) are better than the Thunder? Honestly?" he said. "To represent Canada the proper way to have a good team, to have all of the politics against us and all of the crap. Do you think they are the better team?"

On Saturday night, Horse Lake came out with their aggressive game, but the Bombers matched them physically in the first period, frustrating the Thunder and shaking their composure.

"I put a couple of guys in the lineup tonight and said 'Listen fellas, we're going to go play, we've got four or five legitimate heavyweights in the lineup, there's nothing to be afraid of,'" said Bombers coach Vern Ray Saturday. "If they wanted to dance we would accommodate them. Fortunately, it didn't come to that. The fans got to see a great game of hockey without the crap."

The Thunder found themselves in penalty trouble early and Thunder Bay took advantage, scoring three times with the man advantage in five minutes with three rockets from the blueline - two off the blade of Barry McKinlay, the other by Joe Ritson.

Gino Odjick finally got Horse Lake on the scoreboard with a power-play marker at 16:32 of the first, but Robert Hiller extended the Bombers' lead to 4-1 with a deke in close.

The second period was the same as the first.

The wear of playing four games in five days after playing only six all season finally started to catch up to the Bombers as they were back on their heels as Horse Lake poured in four goals. The onslaught started with Sasha Lakovic at 4:06, followed by Travis Cunningham at 5:47 and Tyler Brough at 6:30. Kip Noble gave the Thunder the 5-4 lead at 14:07, but at 19:11 they lost it as Ritson potted the loose puck.

With overtime looking like a strong possibility, Steve Dumonski scored the winner for the Bombers as he chipped one past Bryce Wandler at 14:13, much to the delight of the Lloydminster crowd.

"It was nice coming into the building and to have fans cheering," said Ray. "Usually when you're on the road you just have silence coming straight at you. When you're away from home and you're in a different town and a different bed, to hear those people behind you was definitely a boost for these guys."

Former GP Storm goalie Cory McEachran got the win.

Shadow
04-25-2005, 02:54 PM
I've never cheered against an Alberta team until now. Fleury and his mates showed no class. Stupid!

lloyd
04-25-2005, 03:11 PM
unbelievable, some of the things said. Thinks that for some reason the Thunder deserve to represent canada even though they lost. Sure glad they didnt go on to win, lets a team that plays within the rules represent Canada.

Opus
04-25-2005, 03:17 PM
amazing ego for such a little lush.....

gizmo fan 2
04-25-2005, 03:28 PM
Fleury and his mates showed no class. Stupid!

Echo. How full of it can he get? Especially when they didn't even win! :rolleyes:

Diesel
04-25-2005, 04:03 PM
Never liked that runt, never will.

earl2
04-25-2005, 07:08 PM
I've never cheered against an Alberta team until now. Fleury and his mates showed no class. Stupid!
I feel the same way. I was cheering against the Thunder the entire season. And was just a little bit happy to hear they lost on Saturday. :thup:

Fleury needs to grow up. (Insert short-guy joke here.)

gizmo fan 2
04-25-2005, 07:44 PM
Never liked that runt, never will.

Heck, the fact that he played for CGY and the Rangers made it easy to dislike him, never mind his personality. :tongue:

Ridiculous guy.

I played at Rexall back in January, and Horse Lake practiced there right after our ice time...after I changed, I went and watched a bit of it, he was acting like he was the be-all-end-all of the team even though it was only his first or second practice with them.

And ice time at Rexall is something like $400/hr...I wonder how Horse Lake was affording that when they could've gone to a city arena for half of that :sure: .

earl2
04-25-2005, 08:00 PM
And ice time at Rexall is something like $400/hr...I wonder how Horse Lake was affording that when they could've gone to a city arena for half of that .

Horse Lake spent something like $7Million on a new arena, and are reportedly paying Fleury, Odjick, Lakovic close to, or over six figures to play for them. Fleury has said he is playing for nothing, which isn't true; but a hundred large seems a little steep...

Esks4ever
04-25-2005, 08:05 PM
Fleury is a loser.. never liked him and i'm glad "his " team lost..

gizmo fan 2
04-25-2005, 08:15 PM
Horse Lake spent something like $7Million on a new arena, and are reportedly paying Fleury, Odjick, Lakovic close to, or over six figures to play for them. Fleury has said he is playing for nothing, which isn't true; but a hundred large seems a little steep...

Wow, yeah.

Diesel
04-25-2005, 09:59 PM
You can afford a lot when you're tax exempt

Muley69
04-26-2005, 10:09 AM
Horse Lake spent something like $7Million on a new arena, and are reportedly paying Fleury, Odjick, Lakovic close to, or over six figures to play for them. Fleury has said he is playing for nothing, which isn't true; but a hundred large seems a little steep...



Depends how rich the reserve is. There are some Alberta reserves, literally, with hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank due to royalties and land settlements.

Chucker44
04-26-2005, 10:13 AM
The Horse Lake Band got a $125 million settlement a couple years back. They're making local car/truck dealers very happy.

They'll be broke again in less than 10 years.

Opus
04-26-2005, 10:20 AM
IIRC Hobbema has one of if not the richest reserve in Canada....the problem with most of these settlements are that a lot of the elders entrusted with distributing the bands wealth are completely corrupt....many of the band members who desperately are in need of the money, never really see it or see it put to work in social programs / resources that they do not have.

Chucker44
04-26-2005, 10:26 AM
It is sad. I feel sorry for the people that need the improvements the money could make.

Chucker44
04-26-2005, 03:10 PM
GP Herald Editorial

Theo, Thunder adventure ends
Despite Allan Cup loss, season will certainly be remembered

What a rollercoaster ride it has been for the North Peace Hockey League’s Horse Lake Thunder.

Unfortunately for the club and community, the team came up a game or two short at the Allan Cup in Lloydminster over the weekend, losing in the semi-finals to the eventual champs, the Thunder Bay Bombers.

It would be very easy to be critical of the club and its players under the circumstances. By all accounts the entire weekend of sold-out crowds was definitely an ABHL group – Anybody But Horse Lake.

Yes, like the proverbial WWE wrestling villain, they were the crew that everyone loved to hate and when the club bowed out Saturday, there were few in the Border City shedding crocodile tears for the likes of Theo Fleury, Gino Odjick and Sasha Lakovic.

In retrospect, the spectacle of the whole scenario is awesome.

Back at the beginning of the hockey season rumours of Odjick and Fleury joining on were bandied about. Odjick came, Fleury didn’t, at least until the run for the Allan Cup began.

Readers might recall the “Fleury of controversy” that ensued related to his status and eligibility to play, this all confused by the NHL players lockout.

The sporting media descended upon Grande Prairie to watch Fleury and scribe his battle with the establishment – one he would eventually win.

It was that same scrum of hungry journalists that happily put a microphone in front of Fleury in the aftermath of Saturday’s loss, all knowing full well that the ex-NHLer just can’t help himself.

His comments during his Thunder tenure addressed everything from his own struggles to the NHL’s control to racism and eventually ended with a rant about how the only reason the Allan Cup was a success was because of him and Horse Lake being there.

While it is true that Theo et al provided a marketing bonanza for organizers, it’s hard to imagine what Fleury and others hoped to accomplish by flying off once the game was done.

It’s too bad really.

Fleury and the other big namers offered Horse Lake, especially the youth there, a chance to dream and to aspire to their hockey goals. In this, the team was a great success.

It is too bad, that at the end of the game we hear the same old blame game of sour grapes. And to what end?

One had hoped the high road would be the way; one that would offer hope and dignity to all concerned.

eskimojones
04-26-2005, 06:07 PM
Sweet justice. Fleury got what was coming to him. I am disgusted at the way he acted. He had an opportunity to redeem himself and his career but yet again he shows his true face. A bitter, ignorant man who blames everyone but himself for his problems. He should do us all a favour and never lace up his skates again.

His comments on his claims of racism and how he almost gave back his gold medal completely infuriated me. In my opinion what he said was just as bad, if not worse than the racial slurrs shouted at him. He stereotyped Canadians as racists. Theo, if you are ashamed to be Canadian, pack up your sh!t, hand in your gold medal, and don't let the door hit you on the way out. :mad: