Реклама в Интернет * Все Кулички
марта 2002 года.
Russian Rocket carrying baggage - NorthJersey.com
By TOM GULITTI
There are many differing opinions on Pavel Bure and what he brings to a hockey team, but the Rangers' right wing has one characteristic about which there is no debate.
"He loves to score," former Vancouver Canucks teammate Trevor Linden said. "That's not a bad thing."
Bure's love of scoring was evident after he netted his first goal as a Ranger on Tuesday night against the Canucks. Bure, who became a Blueshirt in a trade with the Florida Panthers the previous night, was grinning from ear to ear as he jumped into the arms of new teammate Theo Fleury.
Although he has 409 goals on his NHL r?sum?, Bure, who will turn 31 in one week, still celebrates like a child whenever he adds to that total.
"No one loves to score like Pavel," Linden said.
For some, however, Bure's ability to score goals - he's netted one in each of his first three games as a Ranger - and the joy it gives him aren't enough.
Former teammates and coaches have questioned his dedication as a team player. In his 11 NHL seasons, he's gained a reputation as one of the game's most prolific goal scorers, but also a selfish individual who hangs in the neutral zone waiting for breakaways and seldom bothers to help out defensively.
One NHL GM (not from Florida or Vancouver) termed Bure, "the biggest disgrace in team sports," referring to his $10 million salary and how little he does to earn it.
There were reasons why the Rangers ended up as the only team in the bidding for a player who has scored 50 or more goals five times. One was his contract, which pays him $10 million over each of the next two seasons and includes an option year at $11 million after that.
Although money limited the field of suitors to teams that could afford him, no team - not even the Rangers - was willing to give up a lot to get Bure. Dallas was interested, but not enough to part with Jamie Langenbrunner, who was later traded to the Devils, and Brenden Morrow.
The Panthers were so desperate to unload Bure, who had just 22 goals this season before the trade, they accepted the Rangers' meager package of prospect Filip Novak, Igor Ulanov, who cleared waivers and was banished to the minors earlier this month, a first-round draft pick, and a swap of second-rounders.
The question is, why? "A lot of people probably wont understand if you just look at the goals, but if you have a guy making that much money, there has to be other things involved than just putting the puck in the net," said Panthers backup goaltender Trevor Kidd. "Look around the league at guys making that kind of money. [Joe] Sakic, [Paul] Kariya, they're solid goal scorers, but they offer so much more to the team."
Upon his firing in December, former Panthers head coach Duane Sutter questioned Bure's work ethic.
"He certainly didn't work as hard as he did last year," Sutter said.
To Bure's credit, he has refused to fire back.
"I'm surprised, but everybody has his opinion, and you can't do anything about it," the Russian Rocket said. "Would I say that? No. Because I think it's no class at all, especially when it comes from somebody with no class like this.
"I've played with big stars, like [Rangers captain] Mark Messier, and he and I are still friends. I care about his opinion because he is Mark Messier. Look where this is coming from."
Most of the bad blood concerning Bure came from role players such as Kidd and Bill Lindsay, who was claimed by Montreal off waivers Tuesday. But Lindsay and Kidd's public airing of grievances only confirmed the whispers that were already coming out of Florida and Vancouver, where Bure played for seven seasons before forcing a trade in 1999.
Given a chance to defend Bure's value as a teammate, Linden offered only "I don't know about that," and then went back to talking about Bure's love of scoring as if it were the only good thing he had to say about him.
Messier, who played with Bure in Vancouver in 1997-98, provided a more concrete defense.
'"I don't think you can question whether he wants to win or not," Messier said. "He took that team [Canucks] to the Cup in '94. It's been a long time since he's been in that kind of situation. He finds himself in a situation now where the games mean something.
"I think the thing he has lacked is being able to be competitive."
One of Panthers' biggest complaints was how little time Bure spent with them off the ice. Although he was an alternate captain, his former mates complained that he said little in the locker room and was always the last one there and the first to leave.
Bure does not deny that he is a private person who enjoys socializing outside the team when he's home.
"We spend half the season on the road and that's enough time [to be with teammates]," Bure told the Palm Beach Post last season. "When I come I like to see friends I can't see every day. There's so many other things going on. I like to know what's going on around the world, too."
Life is more than hockey to Bure. He is a patriotic Russian who keeps up on current events in his homeland and returns each summer to Moscow.
In the end, however, the Rangers won't care if he doesn't attend team social gatherings if he helps them end their four-year playoff drought. That they've won only once in three games and fallen farther behind Montreal in the Eastern Conference race since his arrival hasn't been his fault. In fact, he's worked just as hard defensively as he has at scoring.
If anything, Bure's strong play has only proven further that the Rangers
are a flawed team, lacking in depth and possibly in character.
Not even with a bunch of goals.
Из прессы Майями:
SUNRISE · Pavel Bure exhilarated South Florida hockey fans by leading the NHL in goals for two consecutive seasons, but there were few tears shed over the Russian Rocket's departure from the Panthers' dressing room Tuesday.
A number of Panthers players lashed out at Bure one day after he was traded to the New York Rangers. They accused the superstar right wing of not being a leader, of being a distant teammate and of not always showing commitment to the team and winning.
"Any fan or anybody that doesn't think the organization did the right thing by trading Pavel, if they spent five minutes in the dressing room, they wouldn't be speaking negatively about the trade," goaltender Trevor Kidd said.
It's not that Bure is a bad guy or considered a cancer in the locker room. Teammates were upset with Bure's indifferent attitude toward the game. Teammates noticed him spending less time with the team. They felt he "showed up" only when he felt like it and hurt the team by dodging contact and not playing the system.
"For me, I'm disappointed playing with Pavel this year," Bill Lindsay said minutes after finding out Montreal had claimed him off waivers. "Ten million dollars, I expected more from him. He's a guy playing 30 minutes a night, and if I'm going to bust my b---- playing eight minutes a night -- look, I'm not the best player in the world, but I'm going to damn well try hard. And I've got to come and watch a guy that makes $30 million come to the rink last and leave first. I was slightly disappointed. Not slightly, I was disappointed. He's our leader and if he's with us and helping us, we jell and we're winning more hockey games.
"And Pav's not a bad guy off the ice. He's a good guy. There's nothing wrong with him, but heck, he's making $10 million and he had to be our guy. If our $10 million guy doesn't care, we're not going to win."
When told about his teammates' comments prior to making his Rangers debut Tuesday night, Bure said, "Everybody has their opinion, and I can't do anything about it. Would I say something bad about them? No, I would never do that and I never will because I think it's no class.
"I've played with big stars like Mark Messier, and we're still friends. I care about what he has to say because he's Mark Messier. Look at where this is coming from."
Animosity was created at the start of the season when coach Duane Sutter named co-captains, having Paul Laus and Bure share the C.
"Maybe that was a role [Bure] wasn't comfortable with," Laus said. "He's a shy, private guy. You can't say, `OK, because you're a superstar, it's got to be this way.' It's like going to Kristian [Huselius], `We need you to fight.' You can't just put [leadership] into someone."
On a team as young as the Panthers, Olli Jokinen said Bure wasn't always the best influence.
"When I was in Los Angeles, we had Rob Blake," Jokinen said. "When you compare him to Pavel, it's a lot different. Blake was like taking care of the young guys, he was captain, he was a leader in the locker room, too. But Pavel's quiet over here, and he's got his own program.
"I used to go to the rink two hours before practice and I'd see Blake in the weight room every time. For Pavel, he's the first to leave practice. It's not a big deal to me, but my first year, I looked up to guys like Blake on and off the ice. So I don't think Pavel was a perfect example maybe for the younger guys."
While there's no denying Bure is in perfect shape, he worked out on his own. After practices and games, the Panthers hang out at the arena and work out together. He never tried to involve himself in team camaraderie.
"You can't force a guy to be around the guys," Laus said. "He had his own things. You can't grab him and say you have to be here 24 hours a day. We thought with his brother [Valeri] here that maybe that would have brought him closer, but it didn't."
Coach Mike Keenan said: "It's a tough combination because you have a frustrated group who hasn't had a lot of success the last two years and an individual scorer who's won back-to-back Rocket Richard Trophies and that's his job. But maybe Pavel could have made a little bit more of an effort in terms of not being perceived as distant."
Bure scored 152 goals (second in franchise history) and 251 points in 223 games and rewrote the Panthers' record book in more than two dozen categories.
Kidd said: "Everybody that's been around him knows what he brings to a team. That's goals and that's it. A lot of people probably won't understand if you just look at the goals, but if you have a guy making that much money, there has to be other things involved than just putting the puck in the net.
"Look around the league at guys making that kind of money. Joe Sakic, Paul Kariya, they're solid goal scorers, but they offer so much more to the team."
Lindsay felt betrayed.
"[Bure's] a great player. He's electric," Lindsay said. "He left everyone craving for that. We needed that from him in the room. The one experience I had from winning was that  Stanley Cup run.
"I could look every one of those guys in the eye and say, `Thank you
man, you gave it your all.' If I have to shake Pav's hand, you know what,
I don't know if I could really do it and tell him thanks for everything.
I felt in a way he hung me out to dry because he's better than that and
he knows he's better than that."
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.