All throughout that Saturday morning, from the minute I woke up to the minute I stepped out of my home, I thought about how many moments Pavel Bure has given to this city. Many are caught on camera and probably uploaded on youtube, but there were some that I simply remember sitting in my seat (most likely on the edge) at the Pacific Coliseum watching him live. As I was riding on the Skytrain downtown to a short work meeting prior to the game, I thought to myself, “You’re one lucky lady.” I grew up in an era of Bure Canucks hockey. A player that was not only revered here in Vancouver, but all over the league and eventually found himself in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.
Here are my Top 10 Moments of No. 10, Pavel Bure:
- First ever game as a Vancouver Canuck versus the Winnipeg Jets: Pavel didn’t score that night, but he must have had five rushes or so up and down the ice. I skipped school that day, drove to TicketMaster at Pacific Coliseum and lined up for stand room only tickets so I could watch Bure that night. I also believe I skipped a volleyball practice, which resulted in my coach benching me for it. It was worth it. I saw exactly why everyone was such a buzz over this guy. He undressed defensemen, he shimmy’ed around opponents and skated faster, better and in more control than anyone I have ever seen before who played in the NHL.
- First NHL Goal: I don’t even want to talk about it, how about we just look at it.
- Elbow on Shane Churla: Not one of his classier moments, but it was memorable for sure. Bure was no pushover and although I do not condone it, the message was simple. He wasn’t one to be messed around with, he will push back.
- Stick to Skate to Stick goal: The kind of goals you mess around with in practice. Bure added a little Pele to this goal and to top it off, it was short-handed.
- Speed: There has never been anyone I have ever seen live that carried that much speed and so much control over the puck. What would spin most players out of control and hurling into the boards, made Bure a HOF’er.
- 1994 Double OT Goal vs Calgary: The pass from Jeff Brown, the rest…
- Goal vs The Devils: Dipsy doodle and doh see doh. Bure danced around everyone in the Devils’ zone and scored.
- End to End: There isn’t a Canuck player past or present that can do an end to end rush like Pavel, no one.
- Calling His Shot: Pavel Bure gets a penalty shot on Damian Rhodes but he tells Koharski he’s going 5-hole and gets it. Babe Ruth, what?
- Finally, Rocket to the Rafters: I’ve been waiting for this moment for so many years. It was about time.
The man’s career was one big highlight reel. I am one of the fortunate ones to see most of it from beginning to end. He will always have his place here now in Vancouver, for that I am thankful. What stuck out the most that night, was when fans, even the younger ones that didn’t get to see him play, saw the videos of Bure highlights, the reactions of “oohs” and “ahhs” were almost like he was performing them live. He was that good.
Thanks Pavel and congratulations.