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8 апреля 2001 года.
Bure's as good as gone. // Calgary Sun


All year long, Val Bure was the talk of the Calgary Flames. 

If he wasn't being fingered for the club's slow start or benched for uninspired play, he was being blamed for dressing room disharmony or the coach's firing. 

Following up a promising 35-goal campaign with just three goals in his first 31 outings, the fizzle of the Russian Pocket Rocket epitomized the Flames' profoundly disappointing season. 

On the trade market, his stock slid faster than Nortel and in the stands his popularity rivaled that of Survivor's Gerri. 

The fans wanted him traded and now it appears they'll get their wish. 

On the heels of the most frustrating season of his career, Bure will soon officially declare he wants to be the go-to guy again. Yes, he'll go to Florida, go to Los Angeles or go to wherever Craig Button can pawn off his most grossly diminished asset. 

"Whether I'll be a Calgary Flame next year is a legitimate question and I can't even tell you the answer," said Bure, a restricted free agent. 

"My agent (Paul Gillis) is coming to see me in L.A. and we're going to go over everything and find out what's the best option -- not for the Calgary Flames, but for me. It's a completely different organization from what it was last year. They let go of a lot of people and new people came in and tried to do something new. I don't know what's going to happen." 

Citing Bure's uninspired play and his obvious inability to buy into Don Hay's defensive scheme, Button openly admitted he tried hard to trade the winger at the deadline. In a matter of weeks, Bure will force Button's hand by making it clear the battered relationship is beyond repair. 

"Through the whole season, you work for the team and hope things will work out," started Bure. "But when the summertime comes and you're negotiating a contract and you decide what's going to happen with your future, that's the time to take care of your own family." 

In other words, it's time for a change of scenery. 

"It's not only my decision but it's my family's decision, my agent's decision. It's been a tough year for me but my family as well. Definitely, this wasn't a happy year, but with the help of my brother (Florida sniper, Pavel), wife and family I got through it. They've been supporting me through this and now I've got to sit down and evaluate what happened." 

Painted by the media as a problem in the dressing room, Bure's unpopularity grew with the fans as he continually disappeared when it mattered most. Notching the bulk of his 26 goals in meaningless scenarios, Bure's sniping ability couldn't overcome his defensive shortcomings. 

Thirty games into the season, his clash with Hay came to a head when Bure was benched for two games following an 8-0 loss to San Jose. And while he got used to all the negative press he was receiving, he couldn't get used to Hay's system -- so he abandoned it. Taking the advice of someone "who was with the organization last year," he reverted to his own, offensive-minded game. 

"It was a hard decision but I just came to the point where I realized I wasn't going anywhere his way, so I started playing my game," revealed Bure, who made the decision just in time for the San Jose drubbing. 

"I know we lost and it doesn't mean anything but that game was the turning point. I was myself and I felt the best. I had a lot of chances and I realized, 'wow, that's what I've got to do.' The first 30 games, (Hay) wanted me to play a different style than what I'm able to play and be successful at. It was really frustrating. I've got to go out there and just skate and forget about everything else." 

In other words, ignore the coach. 

"It was awesome advice," said the 26-year-old Muscovite, without regret. 

"At least now I have experience where, if someone asks me to do something, I just can't do it. I can't change my style. Since then, it started to happen for me." 

Bure finished with 23 goals and 19 assists in his last 50 games and it was his defiance over that period that helped stoke dressing room fires and get Hay fired. 

"This year was a learning experience for me -- I've never dealt with something like that and hopefully I won't have to ever again," said Bure, pointing again towards a trade. 

"There was a lot of disagreement. People speculated a lot of stuff like I didn't like the coach... well, you don't have to get along with anybody. When you step on the ice, you've got to play for one another and that's the bottom line." 

Consider Calgary's go-to guy gone. 

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