Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr

Canucks to Retire Pavel Bure's Jersey

The Vancouver Canucks are going to be retiring winger Pavel Bure‘s jersey number. Bure’s former teammate and friend Gino Odjick spilled the beans to the Vancouver Province on Wednesday night.

According to Odjick, owner Francesco Aquilini will be travelling to Florida this weekend, where Bure resides, to outline the team’s plans to honour him.

“Francesco called him with some really good news,” said Gino Odjick, who is in Florida with Bure, his life-long friend. “He is extremely happy about it.

“It was touching, to have an owner that’s involved and recognizes he’s the first player with the Canucks to enter the Hall of Fame.

“For him to fly from Vancouver makes this a really great week, I tell you.

“Francesco has been talking about [retiring his jersey] for quite a while.

“I don’t see it not happening.”

Bure wore both #10 and #96 during his time in a Canucks uniform, but it is safe to assume it will be #10 that joins Markus Naslund‘s #19, Trevor Linden‘s #16, and Stan Smyl‘s #12 in the rafters of Rogers Arena.

On Monday, Bure will be enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame along with Joe Sakic, Adam Oates, and Mats Sundin. Fans will be able to catch the ceremony on TSN2 beginning at 4:30pm PST.

It has been hotly debated in this city as to whether Bure should be honoured given the way he left the organization. However, the overwhelming consensus among fans has been the Canucks need to do something for the most electrifying player in history.

Canucks general manager Mike Gillis admitted in 2010 that the team was planing to honour Bure, but nothing came to fruition.

“We are going to do something special, not [going to] tell you what it is,” Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said at the time. “Pavel [Bure] is among the number of people that we are actively discussing [and] considering, in some form or another.

“I’m not going to tell you what it is, but he’s definitely part of that group.”

Needless to say the Canucks were hoping to include Bure in the team’s Ring of Honour at the time and Bure balked at that idea believing he deserved the same honour as Naslund, Smyl, and Linden (which he rightfully does).

Valeri Bure, Pavel’s younger brother, has been particularly vocal about the Canucks not retiring Pavel’s jersey.

“I think Mike Gillis not retiring his number is pathetic, without him they might not have a GM Place now,” Valeri told the Team 1040 in 2011. “The way that Mike Gillis handled himself when the people asked him why Pavel Bure’s jersey is not up he said something like ‘I’ll decide when his jersey goes up’ And I thought who gives you the authority to decide.

“Who are you? You are an ex-agent who got paid by my brother a lot of money, got paid by a lot of players a lot of money, now those players got you that job and now you’ve got to decide who’s jersey is going up or not. This is just absolutely crazy, crazy talk by him and that’s one of the things that bother me.

“(Gillis) has been great for the organization, and it’s not that Markus Naslund’s jersey went up, so, well my brother’s should go up.

“His jersey should be up for what he’s done.”

Now the jersey is going up to the rafters and Bure deserve it every bit as much as those who came before him. Congratulations Pavel!


Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr

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