There’s no question that Pavel Bure was a tremendous hockey player, but was his 428-game tenure with the Vancouver Canucks long enough to warrant the team retiring his number?
Bure’s time with the Canucks ended on a sour note with him demanding a trade, but Vancouver fans put that behind them as they gave the retired superstar a standing ovation Thursday night.
That should serve to fuel owner Francesco Aquilini desire to retire his number.
“This is something we’re going to work on and definitely it’s in the plans,” Aquilini said, according to a Vancouver Province report. “We think that Pavel is going to be a great addition to all the members who are retired up there.
“He’s such a great guy and he’s such an exciting player. You could see the fans. The standing ovation went on for at least five minutes.”
Aquilini also defended the way Bure ended his playing career with Vancouver.
“He never had problems with the fans,” Aquilini said. “He had problems with management, but never the fans.”
Bure had back-to-back 60-goal seasons with the Canucks and ended up with a stunning 437 goals in 702 career NHL games.
Igor Larionov: Canucks should retire Bure’s jersey
For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.
The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.
They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.
It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.
Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)
Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.
This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.
Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.
As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.
The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.
This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.
Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.
Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: