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11-29-2004, 01:42 PM
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Simply put, when we're talking about Alexei Kovalev and Pavel Bure, we're talking about two of the most purely skilled players in the history of the NHL.

Clearly, each had their drawbacks -- Kovalev's mind wasn't up to par to his hands or shot and Bure's knees didn't hold up -- but both had a lot more to work off than Balej.

Both Kovalev and Bure's shots -- slap, wrist, snap, backhand -- are head and shoulders above Balej's.

Balej has nice quick moves in tight, but he isn't as fast with them as Bure and isn't as shifty with his body as Kovalev. He reminds me of a wannabe-Hejduk, minus a few notches of pure talent. Then again, Dvorak reminded me of that in his best year as a Ranger as well.

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