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2 Minutes For: Bure, Draft & More

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
     
  The Hall of Fame welcomed four players into their club Tuesday, and you can’t find fault in the inclusion of Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Brian Leetch and Luc Robitaille. But you have to wonder when Pavel Bure will join the club


The knock on Bure is he only played 702 games and never won a Stanley Cup in his career. He also didn’t reach 500 goals. But for anyone who witnessed Bure between 1992-01, it’s hard to argue he wasn’t one of, if not the most electrifying stars of the game.

Consider Bure scored 437 goals in those 702 games (.623 goals per game). Consider he averaged more than a point-per-game in 64 playoff games (35, goals, 35 assists). Consider he single-handily put the Canucks on his back during the 1993-94 Stanley Cup run, scoring 60 goals during the regular season and 31 points (16 goals) in 24 playoff games.

Consider he scored 60 goals in consecutive seasons in 1992-93 and 1993-94, and scored more than 50 goals in three of four seasons between 1997-01. The year he didn’t score 50? He sat out most of the season before coming to Florida.

In all, Bure scored 50 or more goals five times, 60 goals twice, was a three-time goal scoring champion and Calder Trophy winner.

Bure pulled you out of your seat, and the only thing that could stop him at age 31 was chronic knee problems.

Bure deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame.

READY TO RUMBLE

The NHL begins to converge on Montreal for the Entry Draft and there will be a million rumors in the next 96 hours or so, and a number of them will include Jay Bouwmeester, Dany Heatley, and the No. 1 pick.

Unless a last-minute deal can be reached with Bouwmeester – and it’s hard to believe he’s come this far along not to try the free agent market – the Panthers will likely be approached about trading his negotiating rights. That could provide the Panthers an additional pick or body come this weekend. The Panthers currently have the 14th and 44th selections, but they’re empty in the third and fourth rounds.

As for Heatley, his desire to leave Otttawa puts GM Bryan Murray in a tough spot. There may be a number of teams interested, but the Sens won’t get a player back the equivalent in skill.

And right up until 7 p.m., Friday, the rumors will fly whether the Islanders will select John Tavares or Victor Hedman with the first overall pick or simply trade down.

Stay tuned.
 
 
  QUOTE OF THE DAY

“The best-case scenario would be eventually that both cities have an NHL team.” Wayne Gretzky referring to Phoenix and Hamilton.

PASSING THOUGHTS

Along with naming his brother Brent coach Tuesday of the Flames, GM Darryl Sutter announced former Panthers playoff hero Dave Lowry as one of the team’s assistant coaches. And if you’re counting, there’s five Sutters (two generations worth) now in the Flames fold, including former Panthers head coach and assistant and director of player personnel Duane.

White Sox and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf will make an offer Friday to buy the Coyotes and  keep the team in Arizona. Expect Jim Balsillie’s head to blow off.

Brian Lawton.

Song of the day: Midnight in Paris, by Stephen Stills.

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