Few players in NHL history were as electrifying as Pavel Bure, and this year he finally received the long overdue honor (in this blogger's opinion, anyway) of being named to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
During a 13-year career cut far too short by injury, Bure scored 437 goals and was a dominant force offensively during what was the lowest-scoring era in league history. The "Russian Rocket" scored at least 50 goals five times, including a pair of 60-goal seasons with the Vancouver Canucks.
But it wasn't just his ability to put the puck in the net that made him worth the price of admission every night. A YouTube user (WeatherwiseCDC), via Daniel Wagner at Canucks blog Pass It To Bulis, recently put together a video of what he calls "Pavel Bure's lost shifts," a compilation of highlights that feature Bure doing everything on the ice but scoring goals.
While that might not seem all that entertaining, it's actually pretty amazing to watch just to remember how dangerous he was every single time the puck was on his stick. It's also a nice reminder that exciting, entertaining hockey isn't just about the number of goals that get scored.
The blinding speed. The passing. The ability to beat just about any defender in the league one-on-one. Incredible stuff.
Because Bure retired at an early age, he never had an opportunity to keep piling up numbers or reach "the round-number milestones" often associated with Hall of Famers (500 goals or 1,000 points, for example). But just watching the guy play, it's not hard to see why he's going into the Hall of Fame come November.