The 2004 Hall of Fame inductee had an illustrious 33-year career as a trainer in the Alberta Senior League, the Western League, Central League, World Hockey Association and the National Hockey League. The native of Drumheller, Alberta began his career in 1966 with that city’s senior team, which won the Allan Cup that year.
In the minor leagues, “Doc”, as he was affectionately known, worked in Salt Lake (WHL), Phoenix and Indianapolis (WHA) and Dallas (CHL), before beginning an eight-year career as head equipment man with the NHL Vancouver Canucks in 1980-81. During his tenure in Vancouver, he was teamed with the late Larry Ashley, one of the NHL?s most-revered athletic trainers. The tandem was twice honored as official trainers for Team Canada at the World Hockey Championships in 1985 in Prague, Czechoslovakia and two years later in Vienna,Austria, winning a silver medal on each occasion.
He spent the 1988-89 season with the New Jersey Devils and then another nine seasons with the Boston Bruins. In 1999, he returned to his off-season home just outside Phoenix, Arizona, where he looked after the Coyotes skate shop. Just prior to the playoffs that spring, Fleger received an urgent call from Buffalo where the Sabres trainer had comedown with a severe gall bladder problem. Fleger came to the rescue, worked the final 11 regular season games for the Sabres and helped them go all the way to the Stanley Cup finals where they finally yielded to the Dallas Stars.
Among “Doc’s” proudest possessions are a miniature Clarence Campbell Bowl he received in 1982 from the Canucks, plus two miniatures from Boston (1990) and Buffalo (1999). His fondest memories relate to Canucks’ fabled run to the finals in 1982. “It was amazing,” recalls Fleger. “Here we had just lost four straight to the Islanders, yet they still had a parade for us in downtown Vancouver and we all got invited to City Hall where we signed the City Register and received special greetings from Mayor Mike Harcourt. That was a very special time, indeed.”