Valeri Bure is disappointed that brother Pavel was again bypassed for the Hockey Hall of Fame, but he is downright furious with the Vancouver Canucks and Mike Gillis for not retiring his sibling's sweater.
Appearing on Vancouver's Team 1040 AM Tuesday, the younger Bure was asked about Pavel's exclusion from the Hall of Fame and immediately attacked the Canucks and their president and general manager, saying it was "pathetic" that the Russian Rocket's No. 10 did not hang in the Rogers Arena rafters. Gillis, formerly a player agent, represented both Bures during their NHL careers.
Valeri said that the Canucks should not wait for hockey's hallowed hall to induct his brother, and blamed Gillis for standing in the way. Pavel Bure averaged about a half-goal per game in eight seasons with Vancouver, and was part of the 1994 team that made the Stanley Cup final, before he and Gillis forced a trade to the Florida Panthers in 1999.
Gillis said Valeri Bure was "misinformed" about the process for retiring Canucks sweaters, and that his criticisms were "unfair, because he doesn't know the full landscape." Gillis admits he has spoken to Pavel Bure about retiring his number, but would not reveal details of their conversations nor state his opinion on the matter.
"There are owners and other vested interests, multiple people are involved," Gillis said. "I don't know where he read that I made the decision, because I don't. I think it might be good if he talked to his brother."
Gillis said he speaks with Pavel Bure occasionally, and that they had dinner the last time the Canucks visited south Florida, where the latter lives. "I'm a huge Pavel Bure supporter. Always have been, always will be," he said.
The Canucks executive said there was no bad blood between he and the Bure family, and that he would be willing to speak to Valeri. The club has retired the sweaters of Stan Smyl, Trevor Linden and Markus Naslund, and is coming off a 40th anniversary season where it created a ring of honour that celebrated four more players.
It has yet to deal with Bure, who retired after the 2002-03 season.