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Number 5 checks in as Pavel Bure the Russian Rocket himself....Image Source:

Top Ten Florida Panthers Of All Time- Number 5

RW- Pavel Bure

Pavel Bure played for the Panthers 1999-2002.

The Russian Rocket was undoubtedly the most gifted player to ever wear the Panthers uniform. Bure’s stay in Florida was brief, but it was also laden with individual achievements from the Rocket.

Selected 113th overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by Vancouver, he began his NHL career in 1991–92 and won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s best rookie, then helped the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1994. After seven seasons with the Canucks, Bure was dealt to the Panthers, where he won back-to-back Rocket Richard Trophies. His offensive efforts helped propel the Panthers into what would be their last playoff appearance to date.

With no secondary scoring, not even Bure could singlehandedly take Florida through to the Stanley Cup. He did, however, set an impressive NHL record by scoring some 29.5 percent of his team’s total goals…

Trained in the Soviet Union under the CSKA Moscow hockey program, Bure’s playing style reflected the speed, skill and puck possession that the Soviets held at a premium. The most prevalent aspect of Bure’s game was his skating speed and acceleration, which earned him his nickname as the “Russian Rocket”.He was able to use his quickness to separate himself from defenders, scoring many of his goals on breakaways.

Vancouver Canucks conditioning coach Peter Twist noticed during Bure’s rehabilitation period following his first major knee injury in 1995, that his skating style was particularly unique in comparison to typical North American players. He explained, “Most players skate on their inside edge and push off at a 45-degree angle, but Bure starts on his outer edge and rolls over to his inside edge and pushes back straighter on his stride … he gets more power and force in his stride to get up to top speed quicker.”

Internationally, Bure competed for the Soviet Union and Russia. As a member of the Soviet Union, he won two silver medals and a gold in three World Junior Championships, followed by a gold and a silver medal in the 1990 and 1991 World Championships, respectively. After the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, Bure competed for Russia in two Winter Olympics, winning silver at the 1998 Games in Nagano and bronze at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. Following Bure’s retirement in 2005, he was named the general manager for Russia’s national team at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

Pavel Bure’s Panthers Career Stats

223 GP , 152 Goals , 99 Assists, 251 Points

Do you agree or disagree? What was your favorite Bure moment in a Cat’s jersey? 

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