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19 марта 2002 года.
Trading pricey Bure is a good move for him and for the Panthers - Miami Herald

So now the last good reason to go to a Panthers game leaves South Florida, a bolt of lightning headed to New York. Pavel Bure, an artist and a star, packs up his gifts and takes them a little closer to the playoffs. Analysis can complicate trades like this, making them about heavy subjects like economics and chemistry, but Panthers interim GM Chuck Fletcher articulated why this trade was made with five simple syllables Monday night.

''We have been awful,'' he said, accurately enough.

Bure was a diamond in a dumpster here, a Picasso hanging in a trailer home. Keeping him made as much sense as driving a Ferrari over to the welfare office. It is good that he is going, for him and for this franchise, although the Panthers ought to just forfeit the rest of this season. Fans don't want to hear about the future. When team executives start talking too much about the future, it is always because they don't want you looking too closely at their present.

The Panthers wasted Bure's three years here, completely. They won exactly as many playoff games with him as they would have won if their right wing had been Oprah Winfrey. This tells you how flawed this team is, and how much in need of an overhaul: Even with Bure making that red light go off better than anyone in hockey, the Panthers have won zero playoff games with him -- in a sport, no less, in which everybody makes the playoffs, including franchises that no longer exist and some soccer teams.

Why do you trade Bure? Well, because the Panthers are only better than Atlanta and Columbus, which have had franchises for about seven minutes. You can do that poorly without Bure and his $10-million-a-year contract. The Panthers have won 19 games. They'd have to win 19 straight games just to get over .500. You need not be very smart, or even have a functioning brain, to see that all of Bure's scoring doesn't appear to be helping them very much.

''Team game,'' coach Mike Keenan said. ``You need the right ingredients in the right roles.''

One man doesn't carry a team in hockey, not unless he happens to be protecting the goal in the playoffs. Washington traded for Jaromir Jagr and is under .500. Calgary has the league's leading scorer and isn't over .500, either. Phoenix lost all its stars in the offseason and is now a better team, and with half the payroll. The Panthers of Brian Skrudland, a faceless team without star power, taught us while knocking Jagr and Mario Lemieux out of the playoffs that chemistry is more important in this sport than any of the others.

That said, you wish the Panthers could have gotten a little more for a superstar of Bure's caliber. All they received was a young minor-leaguer (Filip Novak) and an older player (Igor Ulanov), the latter of whom can't be very good if he's as an 11-year veteran who had spent time in the Rangers' minor-league system. The first-round pick the Panthers got from New York? The better Bure plays for the Rangers, the lower it will drop for the Panthers.

The key to this deal was not Novak, no matter how good an offensive defenseman he promises to be, and no matter how rare offensive defensemen are. The key was freeing up Bure's salary to spend elsewhere, and in more than one place. This team hasn't won any more with Keenan than it did without him. Kennan hasn't lost like this since his first year as a coach. He needs more pieces, a lot more.

Fletcher probably should have waited right up until today's 3 p.m. trading deadline, hoping a desperate team would push more to the center of the table, but here's why he didn't: He didn't want to get stuck with Bure, as odd as that sounds. The Panthers are, in their own way, just as desperate as the Rangers, who are fighting for a playoff spot and are pretty much in a perpetual state of desperation.

The Panthers need help all over the ice except in goal, and teams might not be as eager to trade for him in the offseason, when they could get a top free agent by simply writing a check without having to trade anyone. They were going to be trading Bure, period. If the Rangers pull out -- and there weren't that many teams bidding for Bure -- then you still have a 19-win team and probably don't get a better offer in the offseason.

''We have multiple needs,'' Fletcher said, which is not unlike Enron saying it has multiple concerns.

Better to let Detroit and its 57 Hall of Famers win the championship this year and regroup for future fights, building around goalie Roberto Luongo.

We never really got to know Bure, polite and accessible as he was. He wouldn't let us. He was the most private athlete in South Florida sports, even as he dated Anna Kournikova. He revealed very little, dancing around even the most benign questions. He made the red light go off. That's all he cared for you to see.

Keenan and Fletcher kept talking about the ''electricity'' Bure brought to the ice, using that word over and over, and now that he leaves they might as well turn off the power at their new arena for the rest of this season. But this trade promises to bring more winning later, at least partially because, mathematically at least, it is very hard to win less.
Lost electricity?

Winning, all by itself, is electricity enough.

Bure, all by himself, was not.

Страничка Павла Буре на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


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17 марта. Павел Буре: "Последнего слова в хоккее я ещё не сказал" - Спорт-Экспресс.

27 февраля. Bures appear upbeat despite bronze fate // Sun-Sentinel

23-25 июля. Бурное лето русской ракеты - "Советский Спорт"

7 марта. Татьяна Буре: У Паши – романы, у Валеры – семья

28 января. Павел Буре может пропустить весь оставшийся сезон.

20 января. Павел Буре может вернуться в строй уже к концу января. 


"ЗВЁЗДЫ С ВОСТОКА" @ c 1997 года