The Russian Rocket Talks About Making the Hall of Fame

This past week, it finally happened. After six ballots, and six misses, it was announced on Tuesday that former Vancouver Canuck sniper, Pavel Bure is to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this November. Andrey Melnikov of Sport-Express and Pavel Lysenkov of Sovetskyi Sport recently talked to "The Russian Rocket" on the phone. Here’s a translated, amalgamation of both interviews.

Question: How did you learn about [the honour]?

Pavel Bure: They called me right away from North America. That is just how it works over there. As soon as the committee makes its decision, they call the inductees. It was the same thing with IIHF Hall of Fame – Rene Fasel told me about it.

Q: Were you surprised to be inducted into two Hall of Fames in 2012?

Bure: Wow, you’re right. I didn’t even think about it! It’s like I scored a deuce, eh? It’s a funny coincidence.

Q: Do you think [the fact that you finally made it this year] has anything to do with the fact that, as of this year, Igor Larionov is a member of this committee?

Bure: I’ve met with Igor quite a few times recently. We met in Helsinki when I was inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame, and then again at Vladimir Krutov’s funeral… But we never discussed this matter together. I have a lot in common with Larionov, and I stayed at his house when I first came to Vancouver. Igor was a terrific player and is a very good man.

Q: How prestigious is it for you to become a Hall of Famer there are only six Russians including you?

Bure: I think it’s very prestigious… I know that Hockey Hall of Fame is a very conservative organization and they are extra careful about who they select.

If it was up to me, more Russians would be inducted. For example, this February I played in a game dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series. There were about 50 legends at the game. I would induct all of them – the entire 2 locker-rooms – into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Q: do you think they mainly induct those Russians who achieved something in the NHL?

Bure: Not necessarily. Are you trying to tell me that Kharlamov and Tretiak played for the Habs, and Tarasov coached the Leafs? It just depends on how important a person was for hockey.

Q: What would you say to people who argue that Pavel Bure didn’t deserve to be in the Hockey Hall of Fame because he never won the Stanley Cup?

Bure: Honestly, I don’t read the people who say that. This is the way I look at it – I can’t change my past. My career is over. I was successful at some things, and I wasn’t as successful at some other things. That’s life.

People judge me, but their opinions are subjective. I’m happy with how my career went. It’s a great honour to be inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’s an honour to join the best players in the world. Obviously, I was pretty happy when I learned I’d made it.

Q:You could have been given the honor a lot earlier. Were you nervous about it?

Bure: No, I wasn’t. People often ask me this and I always tell them the same thing – whatever I’ve done, I can’t change it whether it was good or bad. The decision was made by a special committee, who is responsible to judge my achievements.

Q: What moment of your career do you cherish the most?

Bure My first pro game for CSKA when I was 16. It was my goal for 10 years because when I was 6 I told myself I had to make the roster when I turn 16. And it turned out that in the first shift of the first game I scored a goal with my first shot. I think this is the most memorable moment of my career.