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Pavel Bure vs Mats Sundin

View Poll Results: Bure vs Sundin in their Prime
Pavel Bure 98 77.17%
Mats Sundin 29 22.83%
Voters: 127. You may not vote on this poll

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Old
12-31-2012, 02:53 AM
  #1
Royal Canuck
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Pavel Bure vs Mats Sundin

Two very different styles, two different personalities, who was overall better in their prime? Mats has the advantage in leadership and size, but Bure had the speed and the skill. Take that into consideration during their prime, who would you rather have on your team?

I'd personally go with Bure, he could flip a game around in a matter of seconds, back to back 60 goal seasons with the Canucks and was 1 goal away from bringing Vancouver it's first Stanley Cup, but I do think Sundin also accomplished a lot in his career, and even ground for these two, neither won a stanley cup in their career and they were both inducted into the HOF this year.

So, who would you rather have in their prime? Sundin or Bure?

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12-31-2012, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Royal Canuck View Post
Two very different styles, two different personalities, who was overall better in their prime? Mats has the advantage in leadership and size, but Bure had the speed and the skill. Take that into consideration during their prime, who would you rather have on your team?

I'd personally go with Bure, he could flip a game around in a matter of seconds, back to back 60 goal seasons with the Canucks and was 1 goal away from bringing Vancouver it's first Stanley Cup, but I do think Sundin also accomplished a lot in his career, and even ground for these two, neither won a stanley cup in their career and they were both inducted into the HOF this year.

So, who would you rather have in their prime? Sundin or Bure?
Also back to back leading goal scorer in the NHL with the Panthers (59 and 58 goal seasons) almost ten years after his back to back 60 goal seasons.

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12-31-2012, 06:23 AM
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It has to be Bure.

If someone would make a poll Selanne vs. Bure in primes the outcome could be either winning. If someone would make a poll about Selanne vs. Sundin the outcome would be pretty much Selanne winning.

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12-31-2012, 08:21 AM
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Bure is easily the better of the 2 in their prime. However, Id take Sundin for my team any day of the week, since his prime is basically 15 years as a excellent #1 centre. In a comparison such as this, I think that much longevity should be taken into consideration.

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12-31-2012, 04:40 PM
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Prime: Bure
Career: Sundin

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12-31-2012, 04:59 PM
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Big Phil
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It is true we never saw Sundin quite hit the level of a 1994 Bure. Or maybe even a 2000 Bure. So I'll go with Pavel at his peak.

However, the remarkable consistency, reliability and health of Sundin has to come into play here. He would be the player you wanted for your franchise over Bure. Sundin was more of a team player, less erratic and seemed to make those around him better. Bure (much like a modern day version like Yakupov) is a guy who scored goals and wasn't thought of to do much else. Give me Sundin overall in that case, but Bure still had the best individual season

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12-31-2012, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
It is true we never saw Sundin quite hit the level of a 1994 Bure. Or maybe even a 2000 Bure. So I'll go with Pavel at his peak.

However, the remarkable consistency, reliability and health of Sundin has to come into play here. He would be the player you wanted for your franchise over Bure. Sundin was more of a team player, less erratic and seemed to make those around him better. Bure (much like a modern day version like Yakupov) is a guy who scored goals and wasn't thought of to do much else. Give me Sundin overall in that case, but Bure still had the best individual season
I've been working on a 30-minute package lately that can hopefully prove this statement wrong. Having watched Yakupov lately whilst putting together my next "Lost Shifts" video, I'd have to say the two can not possibly be any more different. I have a lot of footage highlighting Pavel's intellect on the PK and his ability to play in all three zones of the ice.

I won't rule out Pavel perhaps being less than interested in playing defense in his days as a Panther (that will be for a future video), but between his rookie season and ~1996, Pavel was quite savvy defensively and always very sound positionally. Pavel played with heart early in his career and did whatever he could to win. Obviously, this changed later on, perhaps after Canucks management completely ruined his interest in the team. Without a doubt, Bure in his younger years was an absolute force to be reckoned with, whether shorthanded, on the powerplay, or 5-on-5. Sundin surely could carry his team on his back, but so could Pavel. Sundin's advantage over Bure is his longevity, but Pavel's career began to derail with a freak knee injury. He would have, without a doubt, been a legend in the NHL had his career been slightly different.

The Canucks ruined him, as did those unfortunate injuries. He also lacked appropriate linemates to complement his skill. Pavel accomplished back-to-back 60 goal seasons with such linemates as Murray Craven, never having a playmaker or another terrific scorer to finish his plays. One wonders how many more goals he would have had if he had played with another top player. Surely, he would have scored at least twenty more, and with a playmaker like Gretzky or Oates, one dares to dream whether he could have surpassed #99's goal-scoring record. Though I am a Canucks fan, I resent the team for destroying this player. As a result, he has attained a reputation I just don't think justifies how excellent he was.


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12-31-2012, 05:39 PM
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Bure, also his contributions in the defensive zone are vastly underrated. Bure was tough and dirty at ties when fighting for the puck in his own end but most people see him sitting at he blue line looking for a breakaway pass cuz that's all you really see in his highlights.

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12-31-2012, 05:54 PM
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Bure, also his contributions in the defensive zone are vastly underrated. Bure was tough and dirty at ties when fighting for the puck in his own end but most people see him sitting at he blue line looking for a breakaway pass cuz that's all you really see in his highlights.
Early in his career, Pavel liked to establish the team's breakout, and would use his speed to his advantage to carry the puck out of the defensive zone. He would curl back to the team's own goal line several times per period, and would circle back with the puck if no outlet passes were available.

I can perhaps agree while Pavel as a Panther became renowned for cherry picking, he possessed a completely different approach to the game early in his career. He played a solid two-way game, supported the defense when his linemates would not, and would make himself available to start the team's breakout. He used his speed to explode from the defensive zone through the neutral zone with the puck, often drawing the opponent towards him. He would sometimes then circle back and sling the puck over to one of his open linemates. If nobody was there to challenge him, however, he would fly through the neutral zone and generate a great scoring chance.

Some have said that Pavel Bure circa 1992-1994 resembles Bobby Orr. It's difficult to say no to that. Pavel went coast-to-coast as often as Orr would. He's a player who I feel would have been so much better off with a team like Detroit or Pittsburgh, but who unfortunately was the lone star on an average Canucks squad. He successfully carried the team for a number of years and is adored by Canucks fans for being the greatest player in team history, but he certainly could have transcended his current reputation had he played somewhere else.

Canucks fans were thrilled to see Bure join the team. As a sixth-round pick, though, any team could have selected him. If the Canucks had not been the only team aware of his eligibility in 1989, he would have been selected much earlier in the draft. I often wonder how his career might have panned out if he had played for another team.


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12-31-2012, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
It is true we never saw Sundin quite hit the level of a 1994 Bure. Or maybe even a 2000 Bure. So I'll go with Pavel at his peak.

However, the remarkable consistency, reliability and health of Sundin has to come into play here. He would be the player you wanted for your franchise over Bure. Sundin was more of a team player, less erratic and seemed to make those around him better. Bure (much like a modern day version like Yakupov) is a guy who scored goals and wasn't thought of to do much else. Give me Sundin overall in that case, but Bure still had the best individual season
This is a hard one as Sundin has a 16 year prime and in lots of those seasons he has very little help in TO.

Bure has a better peak and is the better goalscorer but his prime was interrupted by injuries and Sundin has an overall game and consistency that matches up as well, in fact better, than any 5-7 year stretch Bure has.

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12-31-2012, 10:13 PM
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wow really puzzled by the 22-3 lead for Bure.

What are people taking as Bure's prime or are they just picking his best 5 seasons which did not come in a row.

Between 93-01 when his 5 best seasons took place he had 2 sub par years and also 2 seasons of 11 and 15 games played.

Maybe it's me but I treat Prime as a 5-7 year stretch.

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12-31-2012, 11:18 PM
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This is a hard one as Sundin has a 16 year prime and in lots of those seasons he has very little help in TO.

Bure has a better peak and is the better goalscorer but his prime was interrupted by injuries and Sundin has an overall game and consistency that matches up as well, in fact better, than any 5-7 year stretch Bure has.
Sundin had a lot more help than Bure did imo.

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01-01-2013, 02:03 AM
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I'll make the homer argument that Sundin was better, since his prime years in Toronto allowed the Leafs to construct a pretty decent contending club around him, while Bure's Vancouver or Florida peak, take whichever or both, did not have the same level of stability that Sundin brought during 1998-2004 in Toronto. Sundin's one great statistical year, 1993, which is often overlooked, was also better than anything Bure put together.

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01-01-2013, 02:39 AM
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I'll make the homer argument that Sundin was better, since his prime years in Toronto allowed the Leafs to construct a pretty decent contending club around him, while Bure's Vancouver or Florida peak, take whichever or both, did not have the same level of stability that Sundin brought during 1998-2004 in Toronto. Sundin's one great statistical year, 1993, which is often overlooked, was also better than anything Bure put together.
Uh no. You know 1993 was an inflated scoring year right? And Bure had 13 more goals and 4 less points than Sundin that year anyway.

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01-01-2013, 04:01 AM
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Uh no. You know 1993 was an inflated scoring year right? And Bure had 13 more goals and 4 less points than Sundin that year anyway.
Also, Bure played on a line with Greg Adams and Anatoli Semenov that year. Compared to Sundin's linemates on the stacked Nordiques squad, Bure's linemates were very underwhelming. Sundin played with Joe Sakic and Owen Nolan.

There is no comparison. Bure made all sorts of plays and created all sorts of chances for his linemates. If he had played with Sakic and Nolan instead, he would have surpassed 114 points with ease. Not to mention Sakic's above average playmaking abilities would have elevated Bure to another level entirely.

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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
wow really puzzled by the 22-3 lead for Bure.

What are people taking as Bure's prime or are they just picking his best 5 seasons which did not come in a row.

Between 93-01 when his 5 best seasons took place he had 2 sub par years and also 2 seasons of 11 and 15 games played.

Maybe it's me but I treat Prime as a 5-7 year stretch.
Pavel suffered a career-threatening ACL tear in 1995-96. The following season, he still managed to score nearly a PPG. In 1998-99, he held out for nearly the entire season and did not play until he was traded to the Panthers.

Between 1992-93 and 2000-01, of the seven seasons Bure did play, he had 4 elite ~60 goal seasons, one 51-goal season, and two PPG seasons (one of which, 1996-97, was played after returning from a serious knee injury; the other was the 1994-95 shortened season).

Bure's prime years were just fine. He likely would have put up another 50+ goal season in 1998-99, as he scored 13 goals and 16 points in 11 games upon arriving in Florida. He did not slow down that year, he merely held out in order to be traded. Arguably his only average season during that 10-year stretch, 1996-97, was immediately after returning from his fatal knee injury/ACL tear, a head injury in the team's home opener, and a bruised kidney suffered just prior to the start of the season. The following video briefly touches on the subject at 3:33:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw31noWE8t8

Here are news excerpts from that time period:

http://www.pbfc.org/oldnews.html

May 1996, Don Cherry on Pavel Bure:
Quote:
"I admire Pavel in a way. He puts on a great show for the fans and goes end-to-end. He's a dynamite skater. He takes dives like most Europeans, but he won't lay there hurt. He'll take a hit for a goal, which puts him okay in my book".

"But when I hear the word ligament, it scares me ... Bure will have to wear a brace when he plays, or he should. Mike Gartner wears a brace on both knees and look how he can dangle. I wonder how Pavel is going to play when he comes back? If he does what we call in hockey giving a leg, then he takes it away and then he;s gone".

Although I never want to see an injury, somehow I would have felt better if he'd been hit with a good, legal bodycheck flying down the ice trying to score a goal rather than being mugged behind the net by Steve Smith".

"Imagine back in Wayne Gretzky's day, with Dave Semenko riding the shotgun, if Smith mugged Gretzky like he did Pavel. Something tells me Mr. Smith would not have finished the game. But those days are gone forever when you could protect your stars".

"Now they have the worst rules in sport, the instigator rule. It's open season on the stars".

"But Pavel will be back. He's young and young guys heal quickly. He has to, so I can come to Vancouver again and give him a hard time and Pat Quinn can threaten to punch my lights out again".
August 29, 1996:
Quote:
Bure will Watch
by Jim Jamieson -- Vancouver Province.
Thursday, August 29, 1996

"There's nothing I can do about it," said Bure. "My health is more important than hockey. I talked with Ross (Davidson) and he said I've still got blood in my urine and a bruise on the kidney. It's one of those things where if I'm not careful I could even lose the kidney. "Bure was advised on Tuesday that he couldn't exercise for nine days, which effectively ruled out his participation.

Bure telephoned Team Russia general manager Valentin Sych just before the deadline to advise him of the decision. There had been speculation the Russians would put Bure on the roster in the unlikely event he recovered before the tournament ended.
September 5, 1996:
Quote:
Thursday, Sept. 5, 1996.
Pavel Making Steady Improvement

Pavel Bure is making steady improvement from his bruised kidney and a further examination Friday will determine whether he can start skating with his teammates Sunday at Whistler. The Russian Rocket was injured Aug. 23 in a World Cup pre-tournament game and was ordered to rest for a minimum of two weeks. He will likely get the green light.
October 5, 1996:
Quote:
Saturday, October 5, 1996.
Pavel plays his first NHL Regular Season Game in almost a year

Pavel Bure set up the Vancouver Canucks' insurance and last goal, in their 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames in the NHL season opener, before a home crowd of 17,501. But it was Bure's collision with the boards midway through the third period that many fans won't forget.

The Russian Rocket had been flying by Todd Simpson on the outside, but the Calgary defenceman gave Bure a hard push on the way by, knocking him forward and forcing him to slide helplessly into the end boards at high speed. Bure managed to break the impact by sticking out his arms but still hit the boards hard with his head.
Gino Odjick then jumped into to fight an unresponsive Simpson and was given a minor for his trouble.

"It was a really dirty play," said Bure of Simpson's push that went unpenalized by referee Paul Stewart. "I saw the boards coming fast and just put out my hands. Now I know how hard the boards are."
October 17, 1996:
Quote:
Mystery ailment bothers Bure

DALLAS - Has Vancouver Canuck star Pavel Bure been seeing stars or is he just plain sick?

A touch of mystery surrounded the Russian Rocket's absence from a late afternoon practice following the team's arrival here Wednesday. The Canucks meet the Dallas Stars at 5:30 PDT.

Head Coach Tom Renney said Bure had a headache and has been experiencing "those little black spots" ever since he was shoved into the end boards opening night by Calgary Flames blue-liner Todd Simpson. Renney added that this has had some effect on Bure's performance. The Rocket has two goals and two assists in five games.

"I don't think it's serious at all and he'll obviously play," Renney explained. "The doctors said keep him away from contact and any real physical exercise for a few days and see how that might help. It's just precautionary; he doesn't need any tests or anything. I don't know how much it's bothering him, to tell you the truth, that would be for Pavel to answer."

So we asked.

"It's my stomach, it doesn't feel so good," replied Bure, stumping those who were expecting a response about headaches, although blows to the head can cause nausea.

Bure certainly appeared to be in the throes of some sort of ailment as his eyes were watery and his face pale.

But he managed to summon his sense of humour when told he didn't look so hot.

"I don't have to look great today," he smiled, "the game is tomorrow."
1996-97 was a terrible year injury-wise for him. He still managed to score 55 points in 63 games, which is respectable. One can say he might have played when he should not have. After Pavel suffered the torn ACL in November 1995, Pavel tried to force his way back on to the ice in just three months:

This is from February 1996:
Quote:
Bure could set rehab record
by Jim Jamieson - - Vancouver Province

Never say never.

When Pavel Bure made the astonishing statement last week that he thought he'd be skating within two weeks, it sounded like the most outrageous optimism.

The Canucks' superlative winger tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee November 9 in Chicago and had reconstructive surgery six days later.

The time frame to get back to full-out competition after such surgery is six to twelve months.

Bure is well known in the Canucks' dressing room for being a miraculously fast healer - but lacing up the blades less than two months after ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) surgery?


The Canucks' are taking a conservative approach to the injury, they're not ruling anything out.

"I'm not surprised. If there's going to be a world record set in the rehab of an ACL, Pavel and his father are probably going to do it. His life is hockey and he's removed from that. He's like a fish out of water", claims Dr. Doug Clement, team physician.

"Only when he demonstrates he's ready. Only when he has the same power in both legs and the same range of motion will it be considered. It will be Ross's call". said Clement. (Dr. Ross Davidson performed the ACL on Bure).
A month later:
Quote:
With any luck, Bure back at practice in 1 week
by Elliot Pap - - Vancouver Sun

Pavel Bure put on his hockey equipment for the first time in four and a half months last Monday as he moves closer to a premature return from reconstructive knee surgery.

Barring any setbacks, the Canucks' Russian Rocket will join his teammates for a full practice the following week. If all goes well again, Bure may play in a regular season game. If not, he still appears a distinct possibility for the play-offs that begin in mid-April.

"It's exciting", said Canuck trainer Mike Burnstein, who has been resisting the urge to admit Bure is headed for an early return.

"It's exciting not only for the medical people, but for the players and everybody else in the organization. If you has asked me two years ago about a torn anterior cruciate ligament, the answer would have been the player will be out for a year. It seems the time line has changed".

Bure blew out his right knee in Chicago on November 9 and had surgery five days later. he began light skating February 26 and has increased that to six days a week for about 60 minutes a session. Canuck conditioning coach Peter Twist gave Bure the weekend off to prepare for the rehabilitation stretch.

"Everything is going great", Twist said. "Right now Pavel needs to do some read-and-react drills and once I'm comfortable he can do those with me, he should be able to handle the team drills. If I had a set date when I thought he would be ready, I'd tell you. It's week to week".

A precedent for returning in five months from ACL reconstruction, (instead of six), has been set by Dallas Star Richard Matvichuk.

The rangy defenceman played a minor-league game four months and three weeks after blowing out his knee last season. Matvichuk played an NHL game five months and one week following surgery.

Stars' winger Bob Bassen duplicated Matvichuk's feat when he returned Wednesday after five months and nine days. Included in that period was a minor setback blamed on tendinitis.
Based on his desire to play and the injuries he suffered in that short span, one might say Pavel was not anywhere near 100% in 1996-97. By 1997-98, he had returned to form.

If Pavel hadn't been injured in 1995-96, and had not refused to play in 1998-99, Pavel's resume may very well have shown 10 years of consistent output. He didn't become "average" at any point during that ten-year period; poor, unfortunate circumstances simply robbed him of those years. With Pavel's ability to play hockey, those would have been an excellent ten years for him had he been a bit luckier with injuries. Pavel's prime never really ended during his career. Injuries destroyed his chance to play during those years and ultimately ended his career.

A relatively healthy Bure would have played consistently at peak level throughout the entire 1990s and into the 2000s. He would have had a fairly lengthy, consistent prime. When he retired, he was still playing in top form. It's unfortunate what happened. He is a "what if" player. On a team with above-average linemates, enjoying a healthy career, Pavel would have reached incredible milestones, and we would be making much greater comparisons right now than Bure vs Sundin.


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01-01-2013, 04:33 AM
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Bure > Naslund

Bure > Linden

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01-01-2013, 05:50 AM
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bure. its not close.

all you have to do is watch them play.

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01-01-2013, 06:10 AM
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Bure > Naslund

Bure > Linden
Well duh.

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01-01-2013, 11:40 AM
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Uh no. You know 1993 was an inflated scoring year right? And Bure had 13 more goals and 4 less points than Sundin that year anyway.
Less being the operative word, Sundin outscored Bure that year playing in the same league.

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01-01-2013, 11:57 AM
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Less being the operative word, Sundin outscored Bure that year playing in the same league.
One of his linemates would go on to play in five NHL all-star games, the other in thirteen. His centerman, Joe Sakic, would become one of the greatest centermen of all time.

The same can not be said about Anatoli Semenov, an aging Murray Craven, or even Cliff Ronning. Unsurprisingly, Semenov and Ronning had career numbers that year centering Bure. Additionally, while the opposition could always pit their top defensemen against Bure, the Nordiques had four stars (Sakic, Sundin, Ricci, Nolan) playing in their top six, making defense much more difficult for the opponent.


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01-01-2013, 12:28 PM
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Less being the operative word, Sundin outscored Bure that year playing in the same league.
You said that Sundin's 1993 season was better than any season of Bure's, when its debatable if Sundin was even better than Bure that year.

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01-01-2013, 01:17 PM
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Also, Bure played on a line with Greg Adams and Anatoli Semenov that year. Compared to Sundin's linemates on the stacked Nordiques squad, Bure's linemates were very underwhelming. Sundin played with Joe Sakic and Owen Nolan.
The Nords were not stacked, they were still very young, many players would go on to have great careers but Sundin and Ricci were 21, nolan 20 and Sakic 23.

Sundin also had the best year 9 points ahead of Sakic and I don't remember the lines that year but pretty sure Sundin didn't play all year with Sakic and Nolan either.

Semenov only played 62 games that year and Adams 53

Quote:
There is no comparison. Bure made all sorts of plays and created all sorts of chances for his linemates. If he had played with Sakic and Nolan instead, he would have surpassed 114 points with ease. Not to mention Sakic's above average playmaking abilities would have elevated Bure to another level entirely.
Bure was very much like AO, a guy who wanted the puck and drove to the net, not much of a setupman at all, not sure he scores any better with those Nords teams as there is only 1 puck to go around and with all of that talent why do you suggest that Bure would score more?

It's neither here or there, Sundin simply outscored him.

Quote:
Based on his desire to play and the injuries he suffered in that short span, one might say Pavel was not anywhere near 100% in 1996-97. By 1997-98, he had returned to form.

If Pavel hadn't been injured in 1995-96, and had not refused to play in 1998-99, Pavel's resume may very well have shown 10 years of consistent output. He didn't become "average" at any point during that ten-year period; poor, unfortunate circumstances simply robbed him of those years. With Pavel's ability to play hockey, those would have been an excellent ten years for him had he been a bit luckier with injuries. Pavel's prime never really ended during his career. Injuries destroyed his chance to play during those years and ultimately ended his career.
Wait a second here if you want to give Pavel Brownie points for his desire to play you have to take them away for not wanting to play and holding out as well.

Quote:
A relatively healthy Bure would have played consistently at peak level throughout the entire 1990s and into the 2000s. He would have had a fairly lengthy, consistent prime. When he retired, he was still playing in top form. It's unfortunate what happened. He is a "what if" player. On a team with above-average linemates, enjoying a healthy career, Pavel would have reached incredible milestones, and we would be making much greater comparisons right now than Bure vs Sundin.
So if Bure had had the better 5-7 year straight prime, with all of those ifs, he would have been better than Sundin in his best 5-7 year run?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JetsAlternate View Post
One of his linemates would go on to play in five NHL all-star games, the other in thirteen. His centerman, Joe Sakic, would become one of the greatest centermen of all time.

The same can not be said about Anatoli Semenov, an aging Murray Craven, or even Cliff Ronning. Unsurprisingly, Semenov and Ronning had career numbers that year centering Bure. Additionally, while the opposition could always pit their top defensemen against Bure, the Nordiques had four stars (Sakic, Sundin, Ricci, Nolan) playing in their top six, making defense much more difficult for the opponent.
you are really pumping up that avs team and we were talking about who they were and what they did in 93 not after Sundin was traded to the desert in Toronto.

It's pretty obvious that prime is not consecutive with you so that's fair, Bure is by far the better goal scorer but I'd still take Sundin's best 7 seasons (you know the ones were I can pick and choose the best arguments for age, linemates, team support ect...) over Bure's with his complete game and the center position and the responsibilities that come with it.

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01-01-2013, 01:48 PM
  #23
Darth Yoda
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I think it's hard to compare a norse god to an old, usually disarmed soviet terrorist weapon. I'll go with Sundin here. A man that carried our national team for almost two decades, versus one that had a semifinal outburst in 1998 and not much more.


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01-01-2013, 05:10 PM
  #24
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Anyone voting for Sundin is either biased or doesn't know what they are talking about.

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01-01-2013, 06:19 PM
  #25
Fred Taylor
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Definitely Bure here, he was simply the more productive and talented player in his prime. I wonder what their point finishes are? they may be fairly close but I still think Bure likely has an edge.

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