Originally posted on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 8/5/13
The Russian Rocket The Vancouver Canucks prior to 1991, really had but one genuine shining moment in the sun since their establishment in the NHL. That would be their wildly unlikely run to the Stanley Cup Finals in the heady days of 1982. For years however through the 70s and 80s, the team’s personnel was a mix of journeymen and unfulfilled promise, with the notable exception of Stan Smyl, the team’s beloved and overachieving blue collar stalwart. No offence to the ‘Steamer’, but his star power paled in comparison to the likes of their provincial neighbours next door in Alberta with the star laden Oilers dynasty characterized by Gretzky, Messier and company. Then on the night of November 5th, 1991, Pavel Bure played his first game and the old perceptions changed for the Canucks in an intoxicating fashion. The anticipation leading up to that evening had been very intense as Canucks fans nervously wondered if the Russian import would live up to the cresting hype. The Russian Rocket, ...
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