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Pavel Bure - First-ballot Hall of Famer?

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  • Pavel Bure - First-ballot Hall of Famer?

    Impact means more than longevity. That's the message that should come through loud and clear when the Hockey Hall of Fame inducts Cam Neely and Valeri Kharlamov on Monday. It's also the reason why Pavel Bure should be a first-ballot HOFer next November.

    Bure's retirement announcement came out of the blue Tuesday, but it hardly was a Bruce Willis-in-Hamlet shocker. The stocky winger hadn't played since March of 2003 and, unable to rehab a battered knee over the course of the lockout, it was just a matter of when, not if, he'd officially end it.

    Now that he has, Bure's availability makes the lackluster 2006 Hall of Fame crop (Claude Lemieux, anybody? Adam Graves? Sheldon Kannegiesser?) vastly more interesting.

    Though his career lasted just 12 injury-shortened seasons, Bure's legacy deserves recognition as one for the ages. He exploded onto the scene just as sports highlight reels were expanding from three minutes at the end of the local news to an hour of their own, and he could be counted upon nightly to provide several moments of shock and awe.

    He didn't score goals so much as he authored them, with a creative flourish and panache worthy of Tom Wolfe. In 702 regular-season games, Bure lit the lamp 437 times. He scored 50 or more goals on five occasions, and posted back-to-back 60-goal campaigns with the Canucks in 1992-93 and 1993-94.

    His trophy case is highlighted by two Maurice Richard trophies for being the league's top goal-getter (he also led a third time, before the award was minted), a Calder, two Olympic medals and three All-Star berths.

    Of course, Bure's legacy goes far beyond the numbers and the awards. At a time when the game was being dragged into the mud by the trappists, Bure used unearthly speed and imagination to raise it back to its highest form. He was one of those truly rare players who brought fans to the edge of their seats every time he touched the puck, who seemed to understand that the people in the stands wanted entertainment, not a diversion.

    Even when he failed to score -- as he did, famously, on a penalty shot in Game 3 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals -- he was electric. His physical vocabulary was a cipher to opponents, and an inspiration to those who followed. His legacy is apparent when Alexander Ovechkin breaks down the wing, or when Pavel Datsyuk dances through a defense and undresses a goalie. That's impact.

    He didn't last nearly long enough. But neither did Neely or Ken Dryden or Mike Bossy. Abbreviated careers didn't prevent them from gaining immortality. It shouldn't bar Bure from admission, either.[/b][/quote]

  • #2
    A Lock..

    Well maybe..
    Be passionate about what you believe in, or why bother.


    • #3
      I agree with SI

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