Pavel Bure, Right wing
Vancouver Canucks (1991/92-1997/98), Florida Panthers (1998/99-2001/02), New York Rangers (2001/02-2002/03)
With his lightning fast skills, Pavel Bure was not only a trailblazer on the ice, but was also a trailblazer off the ice. Bure was one of the first Russian players in the early 1990’s to defect from the (now) former Soviet country and play in the NHL….making way for an even further influx of players to enter the league. Bure was drafted 113th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in 1989 NHL Draft. Due to several court proceedings, Bure made his season debut a month late, however it took him little time to make an impact on his new team and in his new league. Bure would help lead the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994, which is remembered for the Rangers dramatic Game 7 victory to end a 54 year Cupless drought…where they defeated Bure and the Canucks. Bure’s career was then riddled with injuries. He was traded to the Florida Panthers in 1999, where he shined as the league’s top goal scorer for several season’s during the “clutch and grab” years of the NHL. In 2002, Bure was traded again, this time to the New York Rangers were he excelled for the short time he was there before his left knee became an issue again. He missed half of the 02-03 season and the entire season the next year. After the NHL’s lockout in 04-05, Bure announced his retirement due to complications with his knee injury. It was quickly announced that Bure would be the general manager for Russia’s national hockey team at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
During his professional and amateur career, Pavel Bure amassed a great deal of accomplishments:
He won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in the NHL, he won back to back goal scoring titles, he was a 6-time NHL All-Star, also winning an All-Star game MVP award, he finished his NHL career with 437 goals and 779 points in just 702 games. He also won Olympic silver and bronze medals.
Its been a matter of great debate: Does Pavel Bure belong in the Hockey Hall Of Fame? His career was cut short to due a chronically injured left knee. He never won a Stanley Cup and once he left Vancouver, the league seemed to sour on him. Nonetheless, his contributions as THE most exciting player of his generation shouldn’t be ignored.
Similar scorers who are in the Hall Of Fame: Mike Bossy, Joe Mullen, Cam Neely
The 2010 Hall Of Fame class, which will be announced this November should be interesting one, as there are plenty of eligible players who are worthy of being in the Hall. The Russian Rocket should not be overlooked.
Tags: Hall of Fame, Hockey, Panthers