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Al Trautwig: New York Gets its Second Rocket

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

by Al Trautwig
Courtesy of

There are but a few real stars in the NHL galaxy, the type that can really light up a rink, dominate a game, and skate rings around the slower planets. All with a vision of things in the hockey universe which are different than the others. Pavel Bure is such a player and today he is the Ranger Russian Rocket. Move over Roger Clemens.

For what he gave up, Glen Sather comes out of this looking great, but around the NHL other team executives know he had the luxury of absorbing another mega player who makes $10 million per. All that said this deal injects hope and excitement into the final 12 games of the regular season beyond most Rangers fans dreams. They didn't have to lose Mike York in the process!

Over the years in Canada Bure consistently told friends he was a big city guy. "I am from Moscow after all", he would say. He always hinted LA or New York. Now he will be the toast of Brighton Beach. As Alexei Kovalev, Sergei Zubov, and Sergei Nemchinov will tell you the Russian hockey fans in this big city are BIG fans, and Bure will feel their presence at the Garden. Igor Ulanov just could never turn that into a positive.

Bure can have a pouty side, heck what artist doesn't? And when was the last time the Rangers had a true artisan in their midst? As we all know hockey takes size and it takes speed, but in this era of defense first, it takes someone to do the unthinkable in tight spaces to make things happen. Bure can do that, between his legs without breaking stride.

Now the Rangers may not be done dealing. Sather says there is a lot going on in the "back room". For now though this is enough to chew on. This is no build for the future move. It feels like many deals the Rangers have made in the past, where the pressure to win never seems to allow much room for the kids. That was then, and this is now, when Bure was too great to pass up. Don't be surprised if every day after practice Bure asks Mike Richter for another chance at that penalty shot.

One more thing. If the Rangers get hot and make the playoffs watch out. That's how big this deal is. Bure's debut is Tuesday night, and it's a must win. Welcome to New York.

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