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16 октября 2001 года.
Bure's hero status just a memory // Calgary Herald

By George Johnson

Only 18 months ago, Val Bure was much more around here than just a leading scorer and a fan favourite and a kid brother of a comet. He was the linchpin. He was the future. The pin-up boy. 

His lifesize cutout image greeted everyone in search of for a litre of milk or a loaf of bread at convenience stores. 

He was tiny, dynamic, ever smiling, married to the TV sitcom child-star wife.

While others plodded, he soared; while others seemed grey, drab and landlocked in comparison, he gave the impression of a colourburst of dizzying potential.

Just the sort of too-good-to-be-true icon thought to have been priced out of our dreams.

Only 18 months ago, Val Bure held this town in the palm of his hand.

Only 18 months ago, yes, but what seems like ancient history now.

"Will they boo me?'' Bure pauses, as if caught unwares by the question. "Of course I care. But, you know, I hadn't really thought about it. I mean, I hope they don't.

"I love the fans in Calgary. All I heard were nice things before I left."

"Not one person on the street or in the grocery store came up to me and say 'You're crazy!' I didn't leave because of money. I left because . . . well, because it was probably the best thing for the team and for me. For both of us.

"When I got traded there from Montreal, the management wanted me. Then everything changed last season and maybe they didn't want me so bad. That's OK. That's understandable. They didn't trade for me. But the management here in Florida did. It means so much to know you're wanted someplace.''

Calgary will be the second stop on the Bure Brothers Whirlwind Reunion Tour, with Pavel's return to Vancouver tonight generating a buzz of excitement on the West Coast. Then, Thursday it's Val's turn, at the Saddledome.

"Odd, isn't it?'' he agrees. "People here keeping asking my brother 'Are you going to be nervous?' Of course he's going to be nervous! He still has many friends here, like I do in Calgary. But it's not like you're going to be so nervous you'll get sick thinking about it.''

When other departed heroes have returned to the scene of their formative training, they've been greeted derisively. Perhaps fuelling that sort of possible response Thursday were the insinuations and flat-out accusations that last year Bure was just in it for Val, that he had become a pariah in the dressing room and that he couldn't wait to see the back end of this town.

He never did see eye-to-eye with coach Don Hay. But, clearly, the scars ran deeper than that, because Hay had already been fired by season's end and a tense situation could still only be resolved via trade.

It was generally felt that general manager Craig Button played exterminator over the summer, and one of the pests he set his traps for was Val Bure. No one in the dressing room said anything derogatory about him when he left; but no tears were shed, either.

"I don't think I'm a bad guy,'' responds Bure. "And I'm not the type of person who's going to go around telling everyone 'That's wrong!' even if it's being said or written. People are going to believe what they want to believe anyway. Anyone who knows me that I care about knows the way I am. Some people didn't think I should be smiling all the time (last year), because the team was struggling. What am I supposed to do? Cry? Throw a tantrum? Nobody likes to lose. But I can't change the way I am. Did people misunderstand? Maybe. I don't know.''

The Panthers are struggling at 1-4, while the Flames are, unexpectedly, 4-1-0-1.

"I don't want revenge,'' he protests. "I don't need to show the Flames anything. I'm going to play as well as I can, sure. But am I going to play harder? No. I like to think I play hard every night.

"I'm not thinking about the Calgary Flames anymore. I'm concerned with the Florida Panthers''

Thursday night, however, can't be played up with the hoary old 'this is just another game' line. It isn't. The reaction of the crowd, whichever way it falls, will signal that soon enough.

"So, do I think they'll boo me?'' He pauses, as if still caught unawares by the question. "I'd be disappointed if they did. But I guess we'll just have to wait and see.''

Only 18 months ago, Val Bure held this town in the palm of his hand.

Now we wait, we wonder, whether Thursday night this town will extend a hand to the one-time future of the franchise, or choose to use the back of it.

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