Bure Breaks Through
Pavel Bure will finally join the elite talent enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame after being named to the class of 2012 alongside Joe Sakic, Adam Oates and Mats Sundin on Tuesday.
This year counts as lucky number seven for Bure, who has been eligible to be nominated into the HHOF since the class of 2006. “Burnaby” Joe Sakic and Mats Sundin were both first-ballot nominees.
The Russian Rocket was likely held back from the Hall for a number of reasons, but the biggest knock on Bure will always be the missing Stanley Cup.
Bure’s goal to end Game Seven of the Western Conference Final in 1994 will always be an unforgettable moment in Vancouver team history, but many fans and pundits have remained skeptical over the honour after the Canucks failed to finish what Bure started in overtime.
At 478 career points Bure only sits 7th all time among Canucks players, but boasts the best goal-per-game averages Vancouver has ever seen.
In fact, only four players in the history of the NHL have generated more goals-per-game than Bure, who will enter the hall with a .623 average after lighting the lamp 437 times during 702 games played.
So, what took so long?
As Brendan Shanahan has slowly begun to experience for himself, the Hockey Hall of Fame is not an easy club to get into.
The decision each year is based on a number of categories and achievements, and some are simply more valuable than others. With a small career sample size and an even smaller trophy cabinet, Bure faced a number of obstacles several other players surpassed in their pursuit of the Hall.
In addition to questions regarding Bure’s longevity and championship pedigree, the unfortunate stigma associated with Russian hockey players has often been raised as a potential influence on his long awaited nomination.
While the Toronto-based Hall of Fame may lean slightly towards North American hockey traditions versus those across the pond, the class of 2012 has properly acknowledged a pair of athletes who changed the makeup of the NHL forever.
Both Mats Sundin and Pavel Bure have positively influenced the game of hockey, opening up a world of opportunity for European players with the drive to succeed at the highest level of competitive hockey the world has to offer.
With the class of 2012 the Hockey Hall of Fame has done its part by saying “Thank you,” to Bure and three others who have done more for the game itself than Lord Stanley ever could.
Maybe one year the Canucks organization will do the same.
Coverage of the Bure induction from NWSB today…