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On this day in 1999, the Canucks trade Pavel Bure to the Panthers
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On this day in 1999, the Vancouver Canucks traded forward Pavel Bure along with a third-round pick in 2000, Brad Ference, and Bret Hedican to the Florida Panthers in exchange for a first-round pick in 2000, Mike Brown, Ed Jovanovski, and Kevin Weekes.
When Bure, better known to NHL fans as the Russian Rocket, was drafted by the Canucks in the sixth round of the 1989 NHL draft, he became a sight everyone wanted to see.
Before making his official NHL debut with the Canucks in 1991, his first practice with the club was just as exciting. Bure’s on-ice presence brought a whopping 2,000 fans to Pacific Coliseum to see what the Russian forward would bring to the organization before he officially dawned the iconic sweater.
Bure continued to become a commanding player on the Canucks’ roster throughout the years. In just his second and third seasons in the NHL 1993-94, he collected the first of two consecutive 60-goal seasons, becoming the eighth player to have back-to-back 60-goal campaigns. Additionally, he led the league in scoring in 1993-94 with 60 goals and 107 points.
When the 1995-96 season rolled around, Bure decided to hang up his No. 10 jersey and traded in for No. 96 to commemorate the time he arrived in North America. However, his season was excessively shortened due to a knee injury. He played a total of 15 games with six goals and 13 points.
The seasons did not live up to Bure’s expectations. In 1996-97, he scored 23 goals and 55 points but missed a handful of games due to another injury. The determined Russian opted to swap back to his familiar No. 10 after his previous two seasons brought him “bad memories.”
In 1997-98 Bure publicly requested a trade from the Canucks and did not report to training camp, instead returning to Moscow to continue his training.
Pavel Bure traded to Panthers after several seasons with Canucks
Finally, after a handful of time, the Canucks organization made a deal and sent Bure to sunny Florida to join the Panthers.
“I never had a problem with the people of Vancouver, they always supported me and I want to say a big thanks to them,” Bure said. “But there comes a time when you have to go.”
Bure left a legacy in Vancouver, scoring 254 goals and 478 points across 428 games. When he joined the Panthers, he continued to have success. Bure led the league in goals for two consecutive seasons in 1999-00 (58 goals) and 2000-01 (59 goals). Unfortunately, He never became a Stanley Cup Champion with the Panthers and was traded in 2002 to the New York Rangers.
The Russian Rocket appeared in 702 NHL games, recording 437 goals and 779 points. He played his final match on NHL ice in 2003 and officially retired two years later in 2005. Bure was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.
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