Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Fleury lights up British league

We're sure hearing a lot about the sideshow aspects of Theoren Fleury's time with the Belfast Giants, but what we haven't heard is how well Theo's been playing. Here is the British Elite League's scoring leaders, as of Monday:
  1. Theo Fleury, Belfast - 36 GP, 78 Pts
  2. Ed Courtenay, Belfast - 43 GP, 66 Pts
  3. Evan Cheverie, Coventry - 54 GP, 65 Pts
  4. Mark Dutiaume, Sheffield - 48 GP, 56 Pts
  5. Tony Hand, Edinburgh - 49 GP, 56 Pts
  6. George Awada, Belfast - 45 GP, 55 Pts
  7. Jonathon Weaver, Newcastle - 50 GP, 55 Pts
  8. Joe Cardarelli, Nottingham - 50 GP, 54 Pts
  9. Matus Petricko, Newcastle - 48 GP, 53 Pts
  10. Barrie Moore, Coventry - 52 GP, 52 Pts
  11. Dan Welch, Coventry - 45 GP, 52 Pts
  12. Greg Chambers - 47 GP, 52 Pts
The best tidbit I like from this list? Mr. Ed Courtenay, the league's second-leading scorer behind Fleury, is also Belfast's coach. One wonders if, should Courtenay have scoring title aspirations, the coach could simply bench the guy ahead of him.

I've never been to England, but should I go, I'll be sure to see some of this hockey.


At 6:20 a.m., March 07, 2006, Blogger Luke said...

I'm a Canadian living in Nottingham and I went to one game last year, when the NHL players were locked out. The game I was at, Nottingham vs. Coventry, featured the estimable talents of Wade Belak. Belak (who has 25 points in 309 career NHL games) was by far the best and most obviously talented player on the ice, so that should tell you a bit about the quality of the play.

In short, the British Elite League is a bit of a joke, both in terms of the quality of play and in the way the league is run. Earlier this year the team in London shut down in the middle of the season after claiming the management of the arena where they were playing "couldn't guarantee the safety of players or fans." (The glass on the boards had broken a couple times.) Games that they would have played were just stricken from the schedule and everyone moved on... but you can imagine how important the league is to the country when it doesn't even have a team in the largest city.

There's also no teams in other large cities Glasgow and Birmingham, and the Manchester team is, and I quote, "taking time out from active competition to focus all efforts on the building of a new rink." They last played in 2004.

At 9:41 a.m., March 07, 2006, Blogger John said...

Looks like Theo might be in hot water...


"Fleury's future in Britain's Elite Ice Hockey League is in jeopardy after the ex-NHLer was ejected from Saturday's game between the Belfast Giants and the Basingstoke Bison.

The Giants forward was given a game misconduct and match penalty for firing a puck at referee Mike Hicks in the final minute of Basingstoke's 4-1 victory. The puck reportedly missed the referee's head by inches.

After being assessed the match penalty, Fleury reportedly threatened the officials, earning himself a second match penalty."

At 9:49 a.m., March 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see that Theo has grown up. Well, check that, he hasn't. Not much has changed, obviously, as he still has anger management and maturity issues that won't go away. You can also colour me as highly unimpressed that a former NHL star is leading the "British Elite League" scoring by a 12 point margin. I should hope so, given that the league has import restrictions that strictly limit the number of Canadians per team.

At 12:23 p.m., March 07, 2006, Blogger sacamano said...

Sadly, while I was in Sheffield a few weeks ago, Theo was in town to play the Steelers. My local contacts later told me they had been offered free tickets to the game, but they didn't take them because they thought--coming from Edmonton--I wouldn't want to watch hockey in England. Sigh.

At 1:40 p.m., March 07, 2006, Blogger alyosha mcbain said...

Cocaine is a lot cheaper in the UK, and the league doesn't drug test, so Fleury should be all set over there.

Plus the Brits are a lot shorter than Canadians or Americans, so Theo's notorious little-man complex is not so agitated....

At 2:26 p.m., March 07, 2006, Blogger Danny Pugsley said...

To even call hockey a 'minor' sport here in the UK would be major stretch.

There is nowhere near the tradition, history or support that there is in North America or most of Europe.

In Manchester where I live, the previous franchise had to fold because they basically not afford to lease the arena they played at - which is a 16,000 capacity arena on par with most in the NHL. Although at the peak of hockey popularity in the UK, Manchester drew crowds of around 10,000 but, as initial interest died, crowds fell to around 3,000 - try then competing against two football (soccer) sides in the City who average crowds of 67,000 and 45,000 respectively.

Since 2004, Manchester has tried to locate a new site to house the franchise. How easy has this been in getting support from local authorities? Considering that there are now NO public rinks in Manchester, not very.


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