Theo Fleury Should Be in the Hall of Fame
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11-14-2012, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Red Deer, Alberta
Originally Posted by
It hurts Bure a lot that after 1995 he only played in 4 postseason games. That's just poor in that regards. Whether it was holding out, playing on poor teams or playing on underacheiving teams he just never won a postseason game after 1995 when he was 24. Compare that to Fleury and while he had several disapointments in the postseason he always brought his team there and there isn't a time you would ever think Fleury was the cause of his team being knocked out. Granted, Fleury's resume could be better in the postseason too. Both could use some better raw stats, but it is certainly comparable. Even if you did a poll back then and even today on who you would want on your team for a playoff run would it be that crazy to pick Fleury knowing what you'll get?
Well I am not making excuses for Fleury at all, but he was sexually abused a million times as a teenager by an influential hockey coach. You have to understand what kind of psychological damage that does to a young kid. How do you ever cope with this? You aren't going to let it effect your career and you certainly don't want to have a stigma about this while you are in a locker room full of guys. Sad to say, the only way to deal with this could be alcohol and drugs. So I think in many ways what he had was worse and less self imposed.
But onto the response, I certainly can see how Fleury is above Neely on an all-time level.
Fleury - 1088 points in 1084 games
Neely - 694 points in 726 games
Give Cam a bit of a playoff edge but nothing earth shattering. Cam was never top 10 in points but Fleury was better in that category than someone elected to the HHOF yesterday (Sundin). As far as top 10 in goals go it's pretty close:
Neely - 2, 3, 8, 9
Fleury - 2, 6, 7
Fleury had far more productive seasons in the NHL and that is what counts most. Neely falls into a "what if" factor while Fleury does to an extent but still has the stats to back it up. If you want to give Neely a pass for injuries then why not give Fleury a pass in 2001 when he was 3rd in scoring 2/3 of the way through the season only to go to rehab? Either way, the guy had a better career than Neely.
As someone who looks at the game beyond the stat line, you are very, very wrong. Even IF you only look at stats, you have to consider that Neely was cut down at the beginning of his prime. Fleury lost some of his prime years too, but not as many.
You need to consider the legacy left more than stats. Neely was the first true power forward and changed the game. Fleury was a very good scorer who left a legacy of shame on the league. Its unfortunate what happened to him, but you can't give him a pass because of it, the drug and alcohol abuse got him suspended from the league. He didn't choose to leave, he was kicked out. A guy like that doesn't belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
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