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Theo Fleury On Today’s Game

from Sonny Sachdeva of Sportsnet,

Unfortunately, that same mix of skill, unbridled emotion, and unpredictability is a rarity in today’s game, according to Fleury.

“The game is wayyy, wayyy too over-coached,” Fleury said to Sharp magazine’s Dave McCarthy on Wednesday. “It’s almost like coaches are playing Xbox with these guys. IPads on every bench now. It really takes individuality out of the game.”

The league still has a few characters who call back to that bygone era, according to Fleury, but they’re certainly tougher to find.

“That’s why I love guys like P.K. Subban, who have their own personality and beat to their own drum,” Fleury said. “There’s definitely a lack of that now. If you look at my era, you had all these characters who played, like Jeremy Roenick and Marty McSorley. They were different guys and said what was on their mind and wore their hearts on their sleeves.

“There were a lot of colourful people in the game. Now, when you listen to interviews with so many young guys, it’s all clichés.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: theo+fleury



Yeah, back in the good old days when Theo played, they didn’t just have one guy with personality, they had two. Also, one of those guys tried to take someone’s head off with his stick. We need more guys like that!

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/10/17 at 01:20 PM ET

Iggy_Rules's avatar

Do you ever contribute anything constructive?

Posted by Iggy_Rules from Calgary, Canada on 08/10/17 at 01:33 PM ET


Constructive like a former player complaining about how hockey was better when he was playing?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/10/17 at 01:40 PM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

I believe Larionov said essentially the same thing about todays game, although he called it creativity instead of personality.  But they both agreed that coaching/systems is making the game dull.

Posted by duhduhduh on 08/10/17 at 01:49 PM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

he called it

‘it’ being, the thing that is lacking, that is

Posted by duhduhduh on 08/10/17 at 01:50 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I believe Larionov said essentially the same thing about todays game, although he called it creativity instead of personality.  But they both agreed that coaching/systems is making the game dull.

Posted by MoreShoot on 08/10/17 at 01:49 PM ET

I agree with Larionov and Fleury, to an extent. The game is dull as feck right now and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 08/10/17 at 03:27 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

He’s bang-on about hockey being over-coached today.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 08/10/17 at 07:28 PM ET


Yep the game is devolving into soccer.
Seriously. More and more games where one team or the other bust out a few shots in a period.

I don’t mind a soccer game now and then but not when hockey is supposed to be on.

Posted by Ventr on 08/10/17 at 08:54 PM ET


Fleury said something smart, Fleury for GM!  Down with Holland!

<did I forget the sarcasm font?>

Posted by DieByTheWing on 08/11/17 at 08:18 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Both Larionov and Fleury are correct…

The game on the ice lacks the space and time for creativity to shine through. As I’ve said a billion times, the problem isn’t scoring—a 5-4 game played exactly how the game is played today wouldn’t be any more exciting than a 3-2 or 2-1 game. The problem is the way the games unfold, where most goals come about of predictable stretches of cycling and jamming the slot and the crease.

And yeah, the “personality” and “off ice” aspect is pretty boring, too. Fleury is right about that, but for sure he’s also being an obnoxious twit acting like it was so much better when he was playing.

It’s a different world in that aspect. Guys from Fleury’s era could “get away” with some of the stuff they said and did because they had A LOT less scrutiny. The game was much less popular, coverage of the game was far more limited, and the coup de grace, there was no Twitter, Facebook, or hell, even real blogging.

We hear the stories from that era of guys going out drinking and all that. And it seems funny in retrospect when it’s a 50 year old former player telling stories from a distance. But think about the scrutiny that guys like Jeff Carter and Mike Richards had to deal with in their earlier days in the league. For better and for worse, every NHLer knows they’re under a microscope. They know that they’ll get burned by someone for anything that seems slightly off-script… you’ll either piss off the old timers for being too PC or not having work ethic, or you’ll piss off the younger fans for not taking a stand or taking a game too seriously.

If I was a NHLer, yeah, I’d probably be as vanilla as possible. It takes a special personality to be teflon coated like PK Subban. I admire him and think he’s great for the game, and I personally wish we had more guys like him. But I get why we don’t. The demands of the game are already so incredibly high, most guys probably don’t want to take any risk of putting more mental pressure on themselves. It takes a rare bird like PK to be able to take that junk in stride under the already heavy pressure of the job.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 08/11/17 at 09:19 AM ET

bigfrog's avatar

With bigger and faster players, plus extensive coaching NHL hockey has become the ice hockey version of Chess.  confused

Posted by bigfrog on 08/11/17 at 02:54 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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