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20 октября 2000 года.
Black 'n' Blue Russian (Валерий Буре) // Calgary Sun

Val Bure is taking a real beating this season
By MARK MILLER -- Calgary Sun

The bruised lip, the stick mark across the cheek are the first indications of the new reality for Val Bure. 

The video of the crushing hits on Bure is also new. 

But what hurts the diminutive Russian sniper even more is just as glaringly obvious on the score sheet. 

No goals in six games. Twenty-one, counting last season. 

Life as a superstar has its price. 

Bure is paying it now. 

He's been clutched and grabbed, high sticked, slashed and mugged unlike any other time in his career. 

And he's been physically punished. Krzysztof Oliwa of Columbus flattened him with a heavy hit, so did the Canucks' Scott Lachance. 

The question now is, are the Flames doing enough to protect Bure? 

There is no real enforcer on this team, no one to make a player think twice about attacking Calgary's best player. 

Even in the Flames dressing room players disagree on whether the presence of a tough guy, a designated enforcer, would make a difference. 

Bure thinks he needs to fight his own battles. 

But for years in Calgary, Theo Fleury had Sandy McCarthy riding shotgun. And no one can remember Fleury taking the kind of abuse Bure is subject to. 

Jason Wiemer was quick to attack Oliwa after his hit. He was the same team player who went after Lachance. 

But is it enough? 

"Val had 30 some goals last season, so obviously that is going to draw attention," says Wiemer. 

"Teams are keying on him. The difference is guys are looking for him and he is going to have to fight through those checks when they get those opportunities on him. 

"It's the role of teammates to respond, not just my role. It's the role of whoever is on the ice at the time. If someone is taking liberties with him, I am going to have to step in or Belak or Smitty -- it's more of a team concept than an individual thing. 

"We have enough guys who are gritty enough. I don't think there's a lot of intimidation left in the game with the instigator rule in place. The way it's being officiated, I don't think you need a real tough guy." 

But clearly team tough is not working. 

Steve Smith, coming off his injury, should not have to drop the gloves to battle Todd Bertuzzi. Denis Gauthier is out at least a month because he got hurt defending himself in a fight with Jamie Pushor. 

All the while, tough guy Wade Belak sits in the press box, quietly chomping at the bit to assert his version of crime and punishment. 

The bottom line is this team needs to better protect Bure.

"It's definitely frustrating, guys hacking and whacking. But I have to make room for myself," he said. 

"In Vancouver, the guy hit me, lost his stick, and I tried to skate away and he grabbed mine, and I couldn't get away. I kicked his stick then, and got called right away. I tried to explain it was great they saw me kick the stick, but they have to see what is happening before that. 

"It seems like everything is piling up for me, the hits, not scoring, and the frustration just keeps growing." 

The losses and the lack of offence from Bure continue to pile up. 

"The first three games were tough, and when you don't produce it always hurts more," said Bure. 

"Once you start winning, you don't feel those bangs and sores. Maybe I have to keep my head up a little bit more. That hit against Vancouver, I just didn't see the guy coming. Usually I see the ice pretty good and if I am skating and on my game, it will be tough to hit me. I guess guys will sometimes be able to creep up on me and hit me.

"I am fighting through it. There is nobody else who is going to help me, the other guys aren't going to ease off and say, 'We're not going to hit you anymore.' 

"We have a pretty tough team, maybe not the guy who is going to drop the gloves every game, but Smitty stepped up the other night, Wiemer and Billy Lindsay -- it's different every game. 

"But I have to use my speed to make room for myself." 

To look at Val Bure is to see an abused player. The bruises, the cuts, the crushing hits are piling up. 

Almost as quickly as the losses. 

Страничка Валерия Буре на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"


13 августа. Федоров, Буре-младший официально отказались от участия на Кубке Мира. 

10 марта.Bure says this exit's for keeps - Florida Sun-Sentinel 

8 марта. “Флорида” снова обменяли Буре. На этот раз в Даллас. 

14 января. У Буре все в порядке! - Советский Спорт

11 января.  Еx-Flame Bure still loves Calgary - Calgary Herald

7 ноября. Засуха Буре-младшего закончилась на 363 дне.


"ЗВЁЗДЫ С ВОСТОКА" @ c 1997 года