Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/17/13 at 09:09 AM ET
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
Almost four months after Fleming lost his lengthy battle with brain cancer at age 62, the sizable crowd on hand at C.O.P.’s Markin MacPhail Centre to salute Fleming was treated to plenty of stories of a man who touched so many on his winding hockey trail.
A teammate from his Swiss playing days revealed Fleming’s favourite food earned him the nickname “Pudding,” setting the tone for two hours of positive reflection dotted with plenty of healing laughter.
Nashville Predators coach Trotz referred to the man who got him into coaching as his “mentor, father figure and moral compass as a coach.” Quinn credited associate coach Fleming for all the gameplans at the 2002 Salt Lake Games at which Canada won its first Olympic gold in 50 years. He also recalled “Flemmer” taking advantage of a typically lengthy Hitchcock media briefing by switching the sweatsuits of Hitch and fellow assistant Jacques Martin.
As former players and colleagues of Fleming’s attested, the native of Snowflake, Man., who started his career at the University of Manitoba, would stop at nothing to do whatever he could to make his troops as comfortable as possible going into battle.
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