This is how a professional organization congratulates a former great.
We’ve now known for nearly three hours that Pavel Bure – after being snubbed 6 previous times – was selected for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Yet we’ve heard nothing, not a peep from Canucks.nhl.com, or the @VanCanucks Twitter feed, and fans in the digital space are outraged. (Update: The Canucks have issued a Press Release congratulating Pavel Bure, along with Mats Sundin. Here’s the link. I stand by everything said in this article, this is a poor way to congratulate Bure, and I think the team whiffed big time on handling this appropriately.).
Read past the jump for the rest of the screed…
I’d say they’re outraged with good reason: Pavel Bure is among the most beloved Canucks skaters of all time. Many of the fans who continue to be dedicated to and even obsessed with Vancouver’s NHL team, grew up watching Bure back up defenders at the blue-line, then promptly cut in between them and score.
Perhaps the relationship between Pavel Bure and the team is more strained than we’d realized, but even so, this is a big moment in the history of the franchise, and for fans of the team. That the current regime couldn’t be bothered to congratulate him on Twitter, or on the team’s official site is pathetic. If it’s an innocent mistake, and the wi-fi is down at Rogers Arena, it’s pathetic because it’s amateurish. If it’s because there’s a frosty relationship between the club and their former player: it’s pathetic because it’s petty and arrogant.
This isn’t just seen as a slap in the face to Bure, either, this is personal. The team may belong to the Aquilini’s, but the memories of watching Bure play: those belong to the fans and the city. Canucks fans generally want the team we still root for, who we see as connected to what Bure accomplished, to celebrate, or at least acknowledge, this honour.
It’s the same reason Canucks fans got worked up every year when Bure was snubbed: it was like the NHL was refusing to admit or appreciate how exciting, brilliant and unique Bure was as a player. Canucks fans knew what they watched was special, and they wanted it stamped, sealed and officially sanctioned as such. Now the official modes of Canucks communication, usually alive with photos of cute kids at the draft, or video of Fin’s latest antics, are the ones ignoring Bure’s accomplishment?
It’s crazy, this is a seminal moment in Canucks history, damnit! Is it too much to ask the team that fans pay good money to watch, and dedicate so much time to following – to show some respect? If you’re not going to show Bure some respect that’s one thing, it’s stupid and petty but whatever – but at least respect the experiences of your fans, and the history of hockey in Vancouver…