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Fleury Suspended Six Months

From Associated Press

Theo Fleury of the Chicago Blackhawks was suspended for a minimum of six months by the NHL on Friday for violating the terms of the league’s substance abuse program.

The NHL said that Fleury is under the supervision of doctors from both the league and the NHL Players’ Assn. He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement on Oct. 11.

Fleury, a member of the 2002 Canadian Olympic team and a seven-time All-Star, voluntarily checked himself into alcohol rehabilitation during the spring of 2001, while he was with the New York Rangers. He missed the last 20 games of that season.

He signed a two-year, $8.5-million contract with the Blackhawks on Aug. 15, 2002, after being released by the Rangers. He finished with 12 goals and 21 assists in 54 games this season.

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Fleury was suspended two days before the regular season because of an aftercare violation. He sat out 25 games before returning on Dec. 6.

In January, Ohio police said the 34-year-old Fleury was intoxicated after an altercation at a Columbus strip club.

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Calgary Flame Coach Darryl Sutter will also be the general manager after the firing of Craig Button.

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Button hired Sutter to replace coach Greg Gilbert in December.

The Flames missed the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.

“There will be tough decisions, such as getting our budget in line, working on our identity and becoming a playoff contender,” Sutter said in a statement. “We have a big responsibility to ourselves and to our fans.”

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Pavol Demitra has a special gift for his newborn son, Lukas.

The St. Louis Blues center flew home for the birth of his first child Wednesday, then returned to Vancouver in time to get two assists in his team’s 6-0 playoff victory over the Canucks on Thursday night.

“It was a special game,” Demitra said. “It was great. I’m saving that stick for him.”


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