“The Russian Rocket”
Pavel Bure (born March 31, 1971) is a Russian ice hockey player, who played for Vancouver Canucks, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers in NHL. Originally Bure played for CSKA Moscow in Russia. Bure never won the Stanley Cup, but he is two-time Russian champion and has significant achievements in international ice hockey. The Hockey Hall of Fame member played six times in NHL All-Star game.
Bure played his first senior games in Russian League already at the age of sixteen. Vancouver Canucks drafted Bure already in 1989, but he stayed two more years in CSKA before moving to NHL. At the time, there were several players in CSKA that would play later in NHL. From the beginning, Bure made clear that he is one of the fastest skaters around. In his debut season in NHL, Bure scored 60 points in 65 matches and it earned him Calder Memorial Trophy as the best rookie player of the season.
After his inaugural season, Bure recorded sixty regular season goals in two consecutive seasons. His 1993-94 points would been even better without the groin injury, which had a negative effect on the season. This season, Vancouver Canucks made it to the Stanley Cup finals, where they were defeated by New York Rangers in seven games.
During the lockdown season 1994-95, Bure played for Spartak Moscow, EV Landshut plus some charity games. Bure’s 1995-96 season was almost completely destroyed by nasty knee injury. Bure played in Vancouver until the end of the 1997-98 season. After that , he refused to play for Vancouver Canucks despite having a contract for next season. As a result, he was finally traded to Florida Panthers in January 1999.
Bure played almost three full seasons for the Panthers and in his best seasons, he was close to achieving 60 goals during the regular season. Unfortunately, Panthers was not too successful during Bure’s time in the club. From Florida, Bure was traded to New York Rangers. His final season in NHL consisted of 39 games and 30 scored points. Bure’s knee problems became worse and he failed a medical check-up before 2003-04 season. However, he made announcement about his retirement in late 2005. During his NHL career, Bure played 702 games and scored 779 regular season points.
During his international career, Bure represented both Soviet Union and Russia. He is a gold medallist in both Junior World Championships and Senior World Championships. Bure played in Olympic Games in 1998 and 2002, winning silver and bronze from the games.
Other interesting stuff
Bure played seven times in NHL All-Star game. He got Maurice Richard Trophy in 2000 and 2001 for being the best goal scorer in NHL. Bure is a three-time IIHF European Champions Cup winner with CSKA Moscow. He was awarded as a best forward in Winter Olympics of 1998. He was inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.
After retiring from hockey, Bure has acted as Olympic General Manager of Russia. He is playing frequently ice hockey with the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bure’s speed and skills have made him a player that is not easy to forget – after all, his nickname is The Russian Rocket.