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Bure on Morozov: Just be patient
SUNRISE, Fla. - It's easier nowadays for European players to adjust to the NHL. But that doesn't mean it's easy.
Penguins winger Aleksey Morozov, for example, still is adjusting to a new language, a new culture and a different style of hockey than he was used to in his native country of Russia. Morozov is in his third NHL season.
Florida Panthers star Pavel Bure, who was Morozov's teammate on the 1998 Russian Olympic team, advises people to stay patient with Morozov. Bure was one of the Eastern European trail blazers in the NHL. He came from Moscow to Vancouver in 1991.
"It was really hard. It was new. People asked me for everything. It took at least four years to adjust," Bure said Saturday after the Panthers' morning skate. "I came over when I was 20. It's just different here. It's the food, the culture, even the jokes. When you're 20, you're not a kid, but you're not a man yet."
Dealing with media pressure was one of the hardest parts of the transition, Bure said.
"In Russia, it's totally normal if someone asks you a personal question to say, `Well, it's none of your business,' and people understand,'|" he said. "Here, you can't really say that. They say, `Why are you so rude?' You're like, `Why am I rude? I didn't say anything wrong; I said it's none of your business, because it's not.' It takes time to understand. But if you live here, if you work here, you have to respect the culture. You have to adjust yourself."
Bure is one of the NHL's new wave of superstars, and he plays the role of ambassador quite well. He touched on a number of other subjects yesterday:
On carrying a team: "First of all, it's impossible these days. The whole team has to work together. What's good about this team is that everybody does something. That's why Detroit was winning Stanley Cups. Yeah, they had superstars. But they have those other guys who score big goals."
On the new-style NHL defensemen: "I remember when I started, there were lots of guys who were big and tough, but they couldn't really skate well. Now they're even bigger, but they skate like forwards. The game is changing. I wouldn't say I could go and beat anybody. It's really hard nowadays."
On whether the NHL is opening up offensively: "In overtime, yes. But
other than that, I wouldn't say so. Everybody is playing well defensively.
Last year, nobody scored 50 goals. Once, when I scored 60 goals, I was
fifth in the league. Sixty goals and I was fifth! Obviously, something
Страничка Павла Буре на сайте "Звёзды
11 декабря. Павел Буре - "Даже Оджик не спас меня
от беды" - Спорт-Экспресс.
11 декабря. Павел Буре - "Даже Оджик не спас меня от беды" - Спорт-Экспресс.