Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/15/14

MONTREAL- FEBRUARY 24: Mats Sundin #13 of the Vancouver Canucks skates during the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on February 24, 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Canadiens defeated the Canucks 3-0. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Can Vancouver forgive?

Over 40 plus years of their history, the Vancouver Canucks have had several good players but the pickings had been slim to none with regards to true Hall of Fame members.

Then, the big breaking news this week was the selection of two former Canucks as new entrants to the hall in super Swede Mats Sundin and the enigmatic Russian Pavel Bure.

Although both players count the Canucks on their playing resumes, a very faint percentage of Canucks fans would really count Sundin as a Canuck, while the vast majority of Vancouver fans remember the Bure who broke into the NHL and dominated it as a young Canucks phenom.

The Numbers

The Russian Rocket’s numbers were dizzying. He potted sixty goals twice in the regular season with Vancouver for an eventual tally of 254 markers with the team. He also carried the Canucks on his back, along with Trevor Linden and Kirk McLean, en route to the ’94 Stanley Cup Final.

His game winner in Game 7 of the first round against the Calgary Flames is still the most electrifying play in Vancouver history.

The Break-up

However, despite the thrill of Bure’s early NHL career on the west coast in BC, the cloud surrounding his abrupt departure from the team has still hung over the franchise for many supporters.

At the time of his decision, after the 1997-98 season, fans were stunned at the impending loss of their superstar.

I myself have only ever worn one Canucks player jersey. #10 Pavel Bure

The best explanation offered by his agent was that Bure felt alienated and demeaned by Canucks management.

Other postured theories surrounded injury inspired frustration, a desire to play in warm weather environs like Florida (where he ended up), and frustrations with life in Vancouver that supposedly lacked the glamor of bigger, brighter cities.

The betrayal felt by fans was loud and swift though following the July, 1998 announcement. Accusations flew incriminatingly at both sides.

The team took its fair share from those who felt that management was remiss in pleasing their star who had earned the right to special treatment.

However, the supporters bound by loyalty to the organization, and a perception that the multi-talented Bure was something of a cold fish in the personality department, were cemented in their disgust at his insulting request by the extended holdout that saw the Russian flee to the Panthers in January of 1999.

The present day

The passage of time has tempered those memories though for most fans. Tuesday’s pronouncement of the new Hall of Famer brought out a flood of responses on Twitter and radio call-in shows from those who could recall the astounding skills of the fleet Bure.

There was nary a negative comment to be found initially.

More posters and callers were upset with the fact that Bure’s #10 is yet to be retired by the team, unlike Smyl, Linden and Naslund.

Perhaps that forgiveness is yet to be experienced by the men in charge. (Note: Mike Gillis did also serve as one of the Russian’s agents).

I myself have only ever worn one team jersey emblazoned with a player’s name and it was that of the Russian deity.

Those fond teenage memories don’t fade easily.

1994 Playoff Goal vs. Calgary (YouTube Video)


© C-Mac for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | One comment |

Follow NWSB on Twitter or join US on Facebook for real-time updates OR... | Share This on Twitter | Share NWSportsBeat.com on Facebook

Post tags: 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame, Canucks, Canucks Blog, Canucks blogs, Canucks headlines, Canucks History, Canucks news, CSKA, Hall of Fame, HHOF, Hockey Hall Of Fame, Igor Larionov, joe sakic, Mats Sundin, Pat Quinn, Pavel Bure, team russia, Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Canucks Hockey Blog

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Richard Sherman's girlfriend talks possible Super Bowl baby

DeMarco Murray: I don't pay attention to being replaced

Bucs believed to be going for Marcus Mariota with No. 1 pick

Report: Wrigley Field renovation causing massive rat problem

Rex Ryan praises Patriots, calls Deflategate 'unfortunate'


Brady hopes Peyton Manning comes back next season

Report: Thibodeau’s relationship with Bulls 'beyond repair'

Joe Montana pins blame for Deflategate on Tom Brady

NFLPA boss: No Deflategate interviews until after SB

Blandino: Deflategate no sting; PSI in footballs not logged in

Aaron Hernandez’s DNA found on bullet casing, joint near body

WATCH: Porn sounds played during Predators broadcast

Five worst teams to win a Super Bowl

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck defend Patriots on Kimmel

Watch: John Oliver tackles the Super Bowl

The Washington Redskins and their forgotten dynasty

WATCH: Katy Perry cracks Deflategate, Marshawn jokes

Devon and Leah Still write a book for kids fighting cancer

Five potential heroes of Super Bowl XLIX

WATCH: Timberwolves throw shade at Kevin Love in promo

Tom Izzo: 'The Twitter' may have affected team's confidence

Measles outbreak hits Arizona days before Super Bowl

Proposed pace-of-play rule changes, by the numbers

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five potential Super Bowl XLIX heroes

Rex Ryan downplays Deflategate

Brady hopes Manning comes back

The worst Super Bowl commercials of all-time

SB anthem, halftime performers through the years

Super Bowl should smash TV records

Super Bowl records unlikely to fall

15 amazing Super Bowl XLIX stats

Teammate: Manziel not a joke

Ten most underrated SB performances

Knicks ‘in play’ for Kevin Durant?

Ex-QB: Everyone deflates footballs

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.