End of the road for Fleury

Theoren Fleury's fairytale comeback with the Calgary Flames is over.

The National Hockey League team confirmed Friday that the 41-year-old has been released from his try-out.

“I believe Theoren did a great job and should be proud, especially considering all the factors including age, time away from the game and lifestyle change,” said Flames general manager Darryl Sutter. “This is not a hockey story; it’s a life story. Our agreement with Theoren was that he had to be one of our top six wingers and there were never any intentions of assigning him to the American Hockey League.”

For the second day running, Fleury was not on the ice during Flames practice Friday. On Thursday, the team said he missed out due to "maintenance" after playing three games in four nights.

“I am very thankful to Darryl and the Flames organization for following through on the commitment to provide me with this opportunity,” Fleury said in a statement. “I said in the beginning that no matter what the outcome, this would be a success story. I intend to take the next few days to review this experience and make decisions with my family regarding next steps in my life.”

When contacted by the Herald Friday morning, Fleury said he didn't want to comment further and needed time to digest the news before facing the media.

Fleury's comeback bid got underway Sept. 10 when he received the all-clear from commissioner Gary Bettman and thirty-six hours later, he accepted a tryout offer from his hometown Flames.

In four pre-season games, the five-foot-six winger picked up four points and was plus-four. He scored the winning shootout goal in his first game back, against the New York Islanders.

On Thursday, Flames coach Brent Sutter hinted that the Fleury fairytale may be coming to an end.

"He's certainly done a good job and, yet, there's a lot of good players here," said the Flames' new bench boss. "The pace of the game is going to pick up 10-fold here starting next week. So let's just see what happens." 

It's unclear whether Fleury has any offers from other National Hockey League teams.

The Flames play their final pre-season game Saturday against the Canucks and still need to trim their roster before next Thursday's season-opener, also against the Canucks.

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