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января 2004 года.
Еx-Flame Bure still loves Calgary - Calgary Herald
Thanks to a knee injury and the infrequency of inter-conference play, Saturday's visit by the Florida Panthers marked Valeri Bure's first game in Calgary since the Flames traded him two-and-a-half years ago.
Much has happened since that draft-day deal in 2001 -- Jason Wiemer, who accompanied Bure to the Sunshine State, has since taken his act to Long Island and Minnesota. Rob Niedermayer, who went north and west, has been shipped to Anaheim. Bure himself briefly joined the St. Louis Blues last season before being reclaimed off waivers by the Panthers in June.
The Calgary coaches who clashed with Bure -- Don Hay and Greg Gilbert -- are gone, as are all but seven of his former Flames teammates.
"But it's still the same city," said the 29-year-old from Moscow. "I spent three-and-a-half years here and for me, they were great years. I really enjoyed the city and fans and everything. I still have some feelings for (Calgary)."
Bure denies he feels bitterness toward the organization for the way his Flames career ended -- pointed criticism about his lack of intensity and the odd invitation to watch games from the press box.
"There was never a situation where anybody got mad," he argued. "I think we went in a different direction, and there's nothing wrong with that. We moved on and everything worked out great."
In 256 games in a Flames sweater, Bure potted 93 goals and set up 99 more. His 35-tally campaign in 1999-2000 is the best by a Calgary player not named Jarome Iginla since 1996. In two-and-a-half seasons since leaving Calgary, Bure has managed just 24 goals and 71 points in 114 games.
"Injuries," he shrugged, "you can't control. I had a broken wrist, knee surgeries . . . that's behind me and hopefully I've had enough of those and it's going to be a fun season."
After Saturday's tilt, Bure leads the Panthers with 25 points and is second on the club with 11 goals. He's also encouraged by a stretch that has seen Florida suffer just four regulation losses in 16 games since Dec. 3.
Life isn't so good for older brother Pavel, who is plagued by a chronic knee injury and has not made a single appearance this season for the New York Rangers.
"It's been tough for him," said the younger Bure. "He's had a really good, long career -- 12 years. He's frustrated; he wants to get back and playing, but I guess it takes longer than he thought."
Despite widespread belief Pavel's career is over, Valeri believes there's a glimmer of hope.
"Hopefully," he said, "maybe at the end of this season or next year,
he's going to be back and he'll be dominating the league again. I asked
him that question, 'Are you retiring?' But no, he never mentioned it. I'd
like to see him playing again."