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Report: Canucks to retire Pavel Bure’s No. 10

Nov 7, 2012, 11:43 PM EST

Pavel Bure Getty Images

After much debate in Vancouver, Pavel Bure is about to be properly honored by his first NHL team.

Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province hears from former Bure teammate Gino Odjick about how Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini will meet with The Russian Rocket to bury the hatchet and honor him by retiring his number.

“It was touching, to have an owner that’s involved and recognizes he’s the first player with the Canucks to enter the Hall of Fame,” Odjick says.

“For him to fly from Vancouver makes this a really great week, I tell you. Francesco has been talking about [retiring his jersey] for quite a while.

“I don’t see it not happening.”

It’s been hotly debated in Vancouver for years about how Bure’s number hasn’t been retired by the team.

In seven seasons with Vancouver, Bure scored 254 goals with 478 points while leading them to the 1994 Stanley Cup finals before asking to be traded in 1999.

His demand to be moved still sits poorly with many fans and is the reason why many don’t want to see him honored the same way as former captains Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden, and Markus Naslund.

All that aside, he was their most dynamic and exciting player during his time in Vancouver and it was his time there that led to him being elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

  1. sunderlanding - Nov 8, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    I don’t think he should be retired. For a number to be retired there has to be a love from the fans to the player and from the player to the fans. It’s more than just numbers. In fact numbers have very little to do with it, with the exception of Stanley Cup Vicotrys. Pavel never liked Vancouver, and as early as ’93 was talking of being traded elsewhere. That isn’t the kind of player that should have his number ritired.

    • stakex - Nov 8, 2012 at 12:41 AM

      Its not really that cut and dry.

      Yes, numbers can be retiered primarily becuase a player is loved by the fans. Mike Richter is a great example of this. Despite what a lot of my fellow Rangers fans would say, he was a very run of the mill goalie. He had a couple good years, but was also prone to giveing up soft goals in bunches. Yet he was loved by Rangers fans thanks largely to how he played in the 1994 playoffs (funny enough, the highlight of which was his penelty shot save on Pavel Bure in Game 4 of the finals), so his number was retired despite not doing anything all that great in his career.

      It can also work the other way though. Pavel Bure is one of the best goal scorers ever in the NHL (he has the 3rd highest goals per game average). If not for his bad knees and other injury issues, he very well could have come close to Gretzkys all time goals number. Thats why hes in the Hall of Fame, and thats why I can see an argument to retire his jersey.

    • davebabychreturns - Nov 8, 2012 at 9:01 AM

      Without writing a novella here in the comments section about it, Canucks management during Bure’s tenure were hardly blameless.

      (With all due respect to Markus Naslund, Trevor Linden and Stan Smyl – Pavel Bure is the only Canuck (whose career has concluded) who has embodied the kind of greatness on the ice that it takes to have your number taken out of circulation.. in my opinion a team with zero cups in forty plus years should not have four numbers retired and if I had to pick just one it’d be Bure’s #10.

      The other three were to varying degrees good players and great citizens, and Naslund’s high water mark in the regular season truly was at the top of the league, but storied franchises have scads of stories like theirs going back through history. To me retiring those three jerseys says more about what the Canucks franchise was – ie. thoroughly mediocre – than about what they aspire to be.

      But.. not everyone thinks retiring a jersey should be as rare as I do.)

      Anyway. On the ice, Bure’s performance merits a spot in the Hall of Fame and in the rafters at Rogers Arena. To a large extent that’s all that matters.

  2. killacam42 - Nov 8, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    I think if you took a poll of Vancouverites they’d be about 98% in favour of this. No offense to Smyl Linden or Naslund but Bure is the most talented Canuck we’ve ever had, the most exciting, and he helped take us to a game 7. He had every right to demand to leave, they were screwing him around. It was so long ago, and it’s not like when he left he was the one piece that could have kept us contending for the cup, that was a bad team.

  3. spochiefsfan - Nov 8, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    I saw him play an exhibition game here in Spokane when the (then) new arena opened in… 94? Anyway, he is the reason I’ve been a Nucks fan since I was 5. All for this!

  4. blomfeld - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    SPASIBA !

    Pavel Bure was without a doubt the most “explosive and exciting” Canuck to ever play. And yet I’ll always remember him jumping up & down in “solo” celebration after scoring his 60th goal during a humiliating 8-1 loss to the LA Kings (ie: he was apparently happy because that 60th goal was a conditional clause in his forthcoming contract). His time in Vancouver was simply both glorious and tragic. However if I was a Canucks fan, then I’d probably frown upon his number being retired like this.

  5. vanchuk - Nov 8, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    I’ve been a Canucks fan since I can remember, largely in part to Pavel Bure. He was the most exhilarating player I have ever seen play hockey, Canuck or not.

    No fans know the true story as to why he demanded a trade. As blomfeld mentioned, it may have been as early as 93 that he was thinking/talking about it. From what I’ve heard (and what I choose the believe) it is because of Mark Messier’s and Mike Keenan’s hostile takeover of that dressing room and Trevor Linden’s subsequent banishment. If I’m correct in my beliefs, than I don’t think Bure can be blamed for wanting out.

    I’m in full support of this and will be watching his number go up to the rafters with tears in my eyes, no doubt. Not as many tears as when #16 went up, but more than when #19 went.

  6. vanchuk - Nov 8, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    @blomfeld-

    Re: “(ie: he was apparently happy because that 60th goal was a conditional clause in his forthcoming contract)”

    “When you’re chewing on life’s gristle,
    don’t grumble, give a whistle,
    And this’ll help things turn out for the best.

    Always look on the bright side of life”

    • blomfeld - Nov 8, 2012 at 12:22 PM

      That’s a hilarious piece friend and one of my all time favorites ! :) However, I think that these poor souls up on the cross are probably the “Steamer” and company ? Like many others, I’ve been watching the Canucks since Day One and I would contend that their darkest era ever was during the 80’s just prior to when Quinn and Linden came on the scene. As for Bure’s “real” motivation for leaving Vancouver ? Well, suffice it to say that it was for “personal” reasons and had nothing to do with hockey. It was unfortunate, but such is life at times.

  7. jimw81 - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Bure was a great goal scorer, he had zero defensive skills because most of the time he was a cherry picker in neutral zone most of his career.

  8. lsxphotog - Nov 8, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    If you never had a chance to see Bure play in person…at ice level, you missed what was one of the best talents to play. His speed, creativity, overall scoring ability, and leadership were impressive. He certainly had his shortcomings and we all know Don Cherry made it his goal to blast him anytime he was a topic of conversation too…he wasn’t well-liked.

    As a kid, I loved this guy. To me, he was the same style player as me and would use his quick jump and speed to get ahead of other players and stay there. It looked effortless to him. I’ve worn number 10 on the back of nearly every hockey sweater I’ve worn because of this guy.

    Simply put, Vancouver owes a lot of it’s success and fans to this guy. He’s a Hall of Fame player, multi-Richard winner, three-time first team all star, and led the team to many wins and playoff victories (sadly, no cups). He should have his number retired because he was always a force that made the ‘Nucks dangerous to play against and exciting to watch throughout the ’90s.

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