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Rambler's Top100

Thursday, February 26, 1998
The brothers Bure

By GEORGE JOHNSON -- Calgary Sun.   Comrades no more. But brothers forever.
 The way Valeri Bure talks, it's impossible to think of him, say, using his stick to guiltlessly carve a V-shaped chunk out of Pavel the way Brian Sutter once slashed brother Darryl, damaging a few ribs.
 Blood, after all, is thicker than water, even if that water is frozen.
 "It's much easier when we play on the same team," sighs the younger Bure brother. "Then I can cheer for him openly. Anyway, who wouldn't want to be on Pavel Bure's team? He's just an unbelievable player.
 "He's my brother. I love him. I was like most kids, growing up he was, you know, just my brother. We fought sometimes, nothing serious. It took me until my 20s to realize how much he means to me. How much my family means to me. How precious my time with Pavel and my mother and father is. How it doesn't last forever.
 "I guess it's called growing up."
 Tomorrow, fresh off their silver-medal success in Nagano, the Bures collide at the 'Dome, Flames vs. Canucks, The Russian Rocket vs. the Pocket Rocket.
 "Being with him at the Olympics and winning a medal, well, obviously it was very special for me," says Valeri.
 In Russia, perhaps the only siblings more famous are the Brothers Karamazov.
 Big brother earns $5.5 million US and is, arguably, the most explosive player on the planet. Little brother makes $700,000 US and continues to try and forge a name for himself in the NHL.
 Little brother has good speed. Big brother has warp speed.
 Big brother overcame legal wrangles and joined the Canucks for serious dollars directly from the Russian junior ranks. Little brother decided on the Western Hockey League as a training ground, and was drafted 33rd overall by the Canadiens.
 Little brother has scored 49 NHL goals. Big Brother's looking to improve on 237.
 During their formative years in Moscow, the Bures weren't forced to live the life of squalor many of their contemporaries did. Their dad, Vladimir, had competed in the pool at two Summer Olympic Games, winning a silver behind Mark Spitz in '72. As an elite athlete, Vladimir graduated to swimming coach of the Red Army Sports Club, according he and his family privileges such as a nice apartment.
 In hockey, both Bure boys excelled.
 "Growing up, I guess you'd say that Pavel and I had a friendly rivalry," says Valeri. "We were always on different teams, so we'd come home and compare goals and points. But if he quit hockey today, I would still be proud of him.
 Is Pavel the world's finest at the moment?
 "I'd say so," considers Valeri. "His performance at the Olympics against Finland (five goals) will go down in history. It was really something just to be there."
 Despite Pavel's head-turning NHL season -- at 60 points, he's vying for the Art Ross Trophy -- the Canucks have been an unqualified disaster, currently dead last and nine points out of a playoff spot.
 But they'd won four of five heading into last night's game versus the Ducks, and a wave of personnel changes by commandant Mike Keenan has those on the West Coast guardedly optimistic.
 The Flames are one of five clubs Vancouver must shove aside in order to be playing past April 15.
 "Since I started working here, only three players have really impressed me," said Iron Mike recently. "Mark Messier, Mattias Ohlund and Pavel Bure."
 Rather than try to distance himself from Pavel's indisputable brilliance, or become cranky when the subject is broached, Valeri loves talking about his big brother.
 "Oh, I don't mind the comparisons," says the baby Bure. "Wouldn't anybody enjoy being compared to Pavel Bure? Or Wayne Gretzky? Or Mario Lemieux? I consider it a bonus. I really do.
 "I don't get more motivated to play when I'm against him, no. We're different people. We're different players.
 "Obviously, I try and make my own name on the ice. But what can I do? People are always asking me about Pavel. I'm a Bure and I'm proud of that.
 "As far as names go, it's not a bad one to share."

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