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11-08-2012, 01:12 PM
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Long overdue in my opinion. They'll always be the wet blankets out there, but for me Pavel Bure will always be the best player to play for this organization and as such, deserves to have his number retired.

I'll have clear memories of the hype surrounding this kid when he was drafted, "the best player not in the NHL" , "the saviour of the franchise". I remember Brian Burke's radio show with Dan Russel, and usually young fans asking him week after week, "When's Pavel coming over?". I remember the excitement in the city when we heard Pavel had left Russia and was living in the home of his agent in LA. Then we all saw him for the first time on CkVU Sports Page, in a practice rink holding up a Canucks jersey saying in broken English, "I hope to be in this uniform very soon". Hockey fans went euphoric. Keep in mind, there was no internet or Youtube at this time so this was the first time many of us put a face to the name. I remember my Dad taking me to his first practice in East Van, and waiting outside for him to sign my Upper Deck Pavel Bure card. I was lucky enough to get tickets to his first game against Winnipeg and I will forever remember the entire crowd rising up and gasping as he sliced through the entire Jets team with that blazing speed.

I think people fail to realize what a turning point Pavel Bure's arrival was to the franchise. There was always a feeling that the Canucks were outsiders to the rest of the league before then but his presence legitimized the Canucks and made them a must watch hockey team. Goalies and defenses were terrified of him and he made many HOF defencemen look like pylons.

Congratulations to #10, it was pure joy to have watched you play.

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