Despite his size, Fleming packed considerable punch that left opponents, even Hall-of-Famer Gordie Howe, feeling the effects days later.
Fleming died on July 11, at 73, but in his passing the small-framed bruiser left a final mark on his fans that many YouTube watchers are still feeling weeks later.
After Fleming suffered a debilitating stroke in 2007 his son, Chris, began filming short interview segments with his convalescent father while he rested in an Arlington Heights nursing home. The footage turned into eight mini-episodes that Chris posted to YouTube. The videos, which are mostly documentary style storytelling from the septugenarian, have garnered a few thousand hits apiece on the video site.
Chris told the Sun Times he made the videos because: "I wanted to lift his spirits and make him feel like he was part of the world.”
Instead, Chris brought the world to his father.
After posting the videos, the younger Fleming was flooded with mail. Thousands of fans sent emails and cards, and told of their connection to the defenseman who was part of the Blackhawks’ 1961 Stanely Cup Team---the last Chicago ice hockey championship.
"I think it influenced people to come see their relatives and to spend more time with their own parents," the 42-year-old Fleming told the Sun Times, "that was probably the most spiritually rewarding thing for both of us."
Most of the interviews with Reggie focus on his playing days, where he was remembered as an enforcer who dished out punishment and protected his teammates. Those days patrolling the ice for the 'Hawks are some of Reggie's fondest memories.
"I won the Stanley Cup the first year I was here with them," the elder Fleming recounted in one video. "I scored a goal in the last game."
Fleming played for five other NHL teams, including the Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres, but he always remembered Chicago as his favorite.
"They treated me real good," the elder Fleming said, adding he loved "the people, the city."