Well, a fella has a right to celebrate something as unique and remarkable as his first 50-goal season with a little extravagance, doesn’t he?
“My first contract was for three years,’’ said the irrepressible Theoren Fleury, close to three decades after the fact. “First year was $90,000. Second and third years were $125,000 each. To me, that sure seemed like a lot of money.
“Then I scored the 50 and signed a new four-year deal for $325,000 a year. That’s when I bought my first house.
“We wanted a place to settle down. We’d won the Cup in ’89, still had a really good team. Calgary was home. I felt as if I had some security.
“It seemed like the right time.”
During the 1990-91 campaign – only his second full season in the NHL – the ultra-talented, ultra-competitive spark plug from Russell, Man., became one of only six Calgary Flames – Kent Nilsson, Hakan Loob, Mike Bullard, Al MacInnis and Joe Mullen being the others – who have ever broken the 100-point barrier.
He’d go on to further glories, of course, amassing 830 points through 791 regular-season games as a Flame, placing him second all-time in club scoring. By any estimation, he ranks highly among the franchise’s true icons.
“I paid, I think, $320,000 for that house at that time,’’ said Fleury. “Rabbit (former NHL and WHA player Brian Carlin) was the real estate agent.
“We wanted a place to settle down. We’d won the Cup in ’89, still had a really good team. Calgary was home. I felt as if I had some security.”
“It was in Douglasdale, close to (my son) Josh’s school and right on the 16th hole of the Douglasdale golf course. I’m a huge golf fan, love to play, so I thought living right beside a course would be pretty cool, and it is a great area.”
In retirement, one of the most popular players ever to don the Flaming C has set down roots here.
However, over the course of his professional travels – Calgary through Denver, New York to Chicago, and eventually across the sea to Belfast, Northern Ireland – Fleury has, by his own count, owned 10 different homes through the years.
“Crazy, huh?” he laughed. “I know everybody says this, but the first one you never forget.
“And actually, in my case there’s a real good reason. (My former partner) Shannon still lives there in Douglasdale. She’s done a great job with renovations and upgrades. She’s taken great care of it.
“It’s still a great house.”