Following a meeting with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly on Thursday in Phoenix, Theoren Fleury will be reinstated and free to resume his playing career in the NHL.
"I'm still in shock, it's been a very long road," Fleury told TSN.
Fleury had a brief meeting in Phoenix with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, deputy commissioner Bill Daly, while NHLPA representative Matt Nussbaum and Fleury's agent Don Baizley participated via conference call in what was a necessary step in clearing his path back to the NHL.
"Just to get to this point in my life, to even be considered for reinstatement is a miracle," Fleury told TSN.
"To go through what I went through, I wouldn't have been able to live with myself if I didn't at least try."
Fleury says his passion and determination has never been higher and he credits his four years of sobriety and a very supportive family.
"It's like I'm back in Russell, Manitoba (his hometown) again where the reason I played is because it was fun and through the dark patches of my NHL career, it wasn't like that...the last place I wanted to be was at the rink," Fleury said.
The 41-year-old's next hurdle is getting to and then getting through an NHL training camp.
Fleury says he has interest, but out of respect to the teams involved he doesn't want to name the cities without their consent.
As for those who question whether he has the quickness or skills to compete for an NHL job, Fleury confidently and somewhat humourously offers this challenge.
"With my frame of mind, it's going to be a long training camp for those who believe they have a job already."
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