Former Florida Panther Pavel Bure Named To The Hockey Hall Of Fame


One of the most electrifying players to play the game, and certainly the most exciting player to ever wear a Florida Panthers sweater, Pavel Bure was named on Tuesday afternoon as one of the four inductees to the Hockey Hall of Fame’s class of 2012.  Bure along with Joe Sakic, Adam Oates and Mats Sundin were all voted in by the selection committee.  A couple notable name’s that were left off were Brendan Shanahan, and Jeremy Roenick.  Both of whom were on the ballot for the first time.

Bure who started his career in Vancouver and earned the nickname The Russian Rocket, was indeed a special player with speed and moves like we have never seen before, and potentially may not see again.  His career which lasted only 12 years due to bad knees was all about scoring, and most of the time it seemed that he could score whenever he felt like it.  With the Canucks he had two seasons in a row of 60 goals, and was just as dangerous in the 1994 players scoring 16 goals in 24 games, as the Canucks lost to the New York Rangers in the Final.

Bure would be traded to the Florida Panthers in 1998-99 season a multi player trade that saw Ed Jovanovski go to the Canucks.  While Bure’s impact wasn’t felt until the following two seasons, the Bank Atlantic Center was buzzing from the first time he took the ice.  Playing parts of four seasons with the Panthers, Bure put together two glorious seasons where he scored 58 and 59 goals and almost single handedly guiding Florida to each and every victory.  In his first game with the Panthers which happened to be against the New Jersey Devils, Bure scored two goals making his impact felt immediately. 

There are a few records that Bure holds while with the Florida Panthers:

* 59 goals in 2000-2001.

* 94 points in a season in 1999-2000.

* Winning back to back Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophies in 2000 & 2001 for the most goals scored in the NHL.

Bure’s glory in Florida was short lived, but while he was here, there was no doubt that he pulled you out of your seat every time he touched the puck.  The Florida Panthers and their fans were extremely lucky to have seen a player with his skills, and his on ice personality.  Bure would ultimately be traded from the Panthers to the New York Rangers where he would finish up his career, which ended early due to his knee troubles.  At times he’s been seen at Panther games still cheering for one of his former teams.  A fan favorite and a crowd favorite no matter where he went, Pavel Bure gets a well deserved induction to the Hall of Fame.

My guess is that when the Panthers visit the Canucks on November 13th, Vancouver will have a ceremony to honor him.  At some point I expect the Panthers to honor Bure at a home game as well. Once again, congratulations to Pavel Bure and to the other players on their induction.

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