And no, Pavel's relationship with Keenan was not as pleasant as you've suggested:
Sunday, April 5, 1998
Bure's days as Canuck numbered
By SCOTT MORRISON -- Toronto Sun
The question in Vancouver is no longer if the Canucks will move Pavel Bure in the summer, but where?
The reports of Bure requesting a trade before the deadline and the heated discussion between Bure and coach Mike Keenan on the bench a few weeks ago will only serve to further grease the wheels.
Fact is, a year ago Bure requested a trade from general manager Pat Quinn and he never rescinded the request. It was all part of Bure's dissatisfaction with the Canucks over money he believed he was owed and other internal business.
Friday, April 3, 1998
Curses for Keenan
Bure, Iron Mike in heated exchange at Canucks bench
Jim Jamieson, Sports Reporter The Province
It may not be a major reason why Pavel Bure wants out of Vancouver, but a verbal dust-up on the bench with head coach Mike Keenan can't help but make the decision a little easier.
In yet another barometer reading of how the times are changing for the Vancouver Canucks, Bure, for years virtually immune to criticism, was carved up in front of his teammates during a 1-1 tie with the Senators two Saturdays ago.
According to sources, Keenan approached Bure and asked him if he was going to play this game and referred to him as a "selfish little suck."
Bure shot back: "F--- you! I've played 69 games this season."
Bure then started to get up, apparently to leave the bench, but sat down again. While this remarkable repartee was taking place, the rest of the players on the bench were variously trying to pretend they hadn't heard what was being said or staring awkwardly in another direction.
A few minutes later, Bure scored the tying goal but, when he came back to the bench, he made a point of sitting at the opposite end from Keenan. The coach then approached him saying, "Way to go, Pavel."
But Bure was having none of it and once again told Keenan to f--- off.
Bure was clearly displeased when asked about the incident following Thursday's practice and said he had no comment, but Keenan confirmed there had been a flare-up during the Ottawa game.
"It's not a big deal. It happens all the time," said Keenan of his dressing down of the highest profile athlete ever to play in Vancouver. "We talked about it after (the game) and he said, 'No problem.' Anyway, he went out and scored the tying goal afterwards."
Ultimately, Keenan only made Pavel's situation with the team worse. He had already had problems with past management. Once Keenan was fired only to be replaced by Burke, it was easy to see the situation would not improve. Bure finally held out at the start of the 1998-99 season.
I'd say his number one reason was the fishbowl that was Vancouver. Once his buddy Gino was traded (which happened his last season here) he simply wanted out of that fishbowl.
I will agree that was one of the reasons. The entire city had been turned against him despite his injury problems. Issues with management fuelled his frustration with the organization, though, prompting him to rightfully desire a trade.
Why does he want out? Because he does not think he can please anyone in Vancouver. "Not the fans," said agent Mike Gillis. "They have been great to Pavel." But as Bure pointed out, he can't please some people in Vancouver. When he scores 50 or 60 goals he is called selfish and a poor team player. When he does not play well because he is hurt he is a malingerer with a bad attitude.
Also, here's a bit about ticket sales in relation to Bure from the 1998-99 season:
Saturday, 5th September, 1998
Bure walkout behind lag in ticket sales
By Greg Douglas -- Vancouver Sun
No matter how you slice it, Pavel Bure is still the Canucks' major gate attraction. Several Orca Bay executives believe the main cause for season ticket sales being off almost 10 per cent (which equates to approximately $4 million) compared to this time last year is Bure saying publicly he has played his last game in a Vancouver uniform.
The Bure braying should make for a lively assembly next Wednesday night at the Waterfront Hotel when Canucks president and GM Brian Burke hosts what he's dubbed the "1st Annual State of the Franchise Address," exclusively for season ticket holders.
And Bure stating clearly that Mike Gillis had authority over the entire situation:
Thursday, 3rd September, 1998
Bure not fazed by delay
By ELLIOTT PAP -- Vancouver Sun
The fact Bure may forfeit some, or all, of his approximate $8 million US salary appears to be an additional cause for bewilderment.
"It has nothing to do with the people and the city," Bure insisted. "It's a great city, maybe one of the best in the world. It's beautiful here in the summertime and everything. I don't read the papers but from what I've been told lately, you guys have been trying to put me against the people . . . you know, like, I hate the people, I hate the city. It's not true at all.
"I have my personal reasons, which I'm not going to discuss, and again I want to thank all the people for supporting me for seven years. They were great to me."
Despite his claim of fondness for Vancouver, Bure reneged after last season on a promise to fully explain to the media -- and fans -- why he wants to leave the Canucks. Instead, he went public on the August long weekend, speaking to a columnist hand-picked by his agent, Mike Gillis.
"Mike's in charge of all this stuff," Bure explained. "My job is to play hockey and he is responsible for all the comments I make and how to deal with management."
Bure could have held out as early as the start of the 1997-98 season. With new agent Mike Gillis, Pavel took a more aggressive approach to negotiating with management. At this point, rumors began to spread that Pavel wanted a trade, though one must remember at this time Alexander Mogilny was holding out for a new contract and had set a precedent for using it as a tactic. Pavel was vilified by the media and management, and consequently the city turned against him.
Mike Keenan's tenure did nothing to resolve any of this tension, and in fact fuelled it. When Keenan was fired, Burke, former assistant GM of the Canucks, was hired, and it was clear Pavel would be continue to be trapped in the city with no resolution. He and Gillis made the decision that a holdout was necessary. Management issues were the reason for this vicious fight between Gillis and the Canucks, ultimately resulting in Pavel being moved.
Were there trust issues? Absolutely.
Edited by WeatherWise, 08 April 2013 - 01:59 AM.
The greatest segue into a weather segment.