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NHL players barred from senior leagues

1/7/2005

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Suspended NHL star Theo Fleury has been
barred from playing for the Horse Lake Thunder in the North Peace
Hockey League.

Fleury, suspended by the NHL for substance-abuse violations, is
ineligible to play because of a Hockey Canada ruling last month
that NHL players under contract last season can not play for the
Allan Cup, the top prize for senior hockey in Canada.

"His registration has been turned down," said Brad Robbins,
Hockey Alberta's manager of operations. "He was under an NHL
contract in 2003-04."

Fleury was to have made his senior league debut Thursday night
in northern Alberta against the Grande Prairie Athletics.

"I just think it's pretty funny that it doesn't seem to matter
what I do or where I go, it's controversial," Fleury told CBC. "I
am getting frustrated with that. It doesn't matter what I do.
People are concerned about my life.

"My sole purpose to come here and be here was to have fun and
enjoy myself and get back to the roots of the game. I had no idea
coming in here that it would cause this much controversy and be
such a distraction."

The 36-year-old forward has 455 goals in 1,084 NHL games.