Pavel Bure didn’t steal the show during the 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame Legend Classic game at Air Canada Centre Sunday afternoon, but given a little more time, he just might have.
Bure, who missed a quarter of the game changing out of his swanky new blazer and into gear, scored twice and added an assist for Team Trottier in a wide open game; in classic Bure style he wheeled through centre ice a few times just waiting to fly onto the attack, but no one was there to feed him like Jeff Brown did.
Still, it was a great showing for a man who hadn’t been on the ice in quite some time and while a comeback isn’t in the works, his place in the Hockey Hall of Fame has clearly been earned.
Here’s what fellow 2012 inductees Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic and Adam Oates, and 2010 Hall of Fame inductee Dino Ciccarelli, had to say about the Russian Rocket.
"One of the toughest guys ever. Pavel Bure, to me, if you look at the best pure goal scorers of the last 50 years, he’s right up there. Impossible to stop really with the speed and his nose for scoring goals. It’s a great honour to be inducted with him."
"I don’t think he was one of (the most exciting players), he was by far the most exciting player in the game for that 10 year stretch that he played. I saw that first game of his and from then on he was just so electrifying that as a hockey fan, you wanted to watch the Canucks because you wanted to watch Pavel Bure and see what he was going to do. He was just a tremendous player."
"He was just a dynamic player, great skater, great shot.
"(Vancouver) had a great team and he was the explosive guy on the team, for every opposition team, every pre-game was always about Pavel Bure and him getting behind the defence. No matter how many times you talked about it, he would still stick it to you. He’s a great talent and he deserves to be in here."
"Pavel was the Russian Rocket and before a game you’d be thinking that if we don’t find a way to shut this guy down, we’re going to lose. He’s also one of those rare guys that was very dynamic because of his skating ability that brought the crowd to its feet, almost as an entertainer.
"Like most good players, you just tried to contain him, you really couldn’t shut him down. He was an elusive guy, he could turn the jets on at anytime, so he was a very tough guy to cover."
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