Opinion

RADIA: No: he didn’t want to be here

Former Vancouver Canuck superstar Pavel Bure has officially been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’s an honour that is well-deserved: He was one of the greatest players of his generation, winning two Rocket Richard trophies during his injury-shortened career.

Despite his greatness, however, Bure does not deserve to have his jersey hoisted to the rafters at Rogers Arena.

First, which number would you retire? As a Canuck, he wore the numbers 10 and 96.

Second, and more importantly, Bure jilted the hockey fans in Vancouver and as such doesn’t deserve our adulation.

In 1991, after 20 years in the NHL, the Canucks finally got their superstar in Bure — their game-changer. But then, after seven years, he asked to be traded without so much as an explanation.

As the story goes, Bure had some sort of conflict with team management. Well, just before he left, there was an ownership change and general manager Pat Quinn was unceremoniously fired.

But for some reason, Bure still wanted to leave.

His departure was an insult to the organization and to the fans who worshipped him.

By comparison, the three Canucks who have already had their jerseys retired were true Vancouverites and true gentlemen.

Stan Smyl exemplified what it meant to be a Canuck in the 1980s: He was a lifetime Canuck who gave his all each and every shift. Markus Naslund played the majority of his career in Vancouver and holds the club record for most points.

And what can we say about Trevor Linden?

Number 16 was my idol growing up; I had a poster of him in my room and also donned a Linden jersey when I played street hockey. My fanaticism aside, Linden was the heart and soul of the Canucks and captained the team to the 1994 Stanley Cup finals. His charitable work in the community — especially with sick kids — is legendary.

All three of them wanted to be here. They all wanted to retire as Canucks. Bure didn’t.

There is no doubt that Russian Rocket was one of best, if not the greatest player ever to wear a Canucks’ uniform.

But why would we want to honour somebody who didn’t want to be a here?

 

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