Teemu SelänneMember Since 06 Jul 2006
Offline Last Active Jul 06 2014 02:26 PM
The Canucks forced Bure to pay part of his own transfer fee to the Russian hockey authorities before they would sign him to his initial contract.
They left him dangling and sitting in the USA after he had left Russia with no contact from the Canucks management as they were not sure they wanted to sign him for the season. Brian Burke (then assistant GM) called once and then left him in limbo.
Bure was promised a new contract and substantial raise if he played well so he signed a low ball offer to "prove" himself ($585,360 and $467,820). I suppose the Calder Trophy as top rookie and following up with a 60 goal season did not count because the Canucks broke that promise. A bitter negotiation ensued over the next season during which Bure again scored 60 goals.
When the the new contract was finally prepared the Canucks pulled a "bait and switch" and tried to change the currency to Canadian dollars when no regular NHL players were signing Canadian dollar contracts let alone superstars. Bure finally signed for $4.5 million. He asked that Pat Quinn attend the contract signing so they could shake hands and put the bad blood behind them - Quinn refused.
Quinn pulled a similar stunt with Wayne Gretzky when his agent, Mike Bartlett had reached a contract in principle in the middle of the night and Quinn demanded that Gretzky be dragged out of bed to sign the deal on the spot. Gretzky then signed with the Rangers. Could you have imagined Gretzky centering Bure???
After Bure finally signed his contract which included a guaranteed salary in the event of a lockout, the Canucks reneged on paying his salary for the lockout period. Bure had to take the Canucks to arbitration to get paid the money legally due to him.
The Canucks had a habit of breaking contracts as with Larionov and Krutov's transfer fee contracts. Arbitration was needed to force payment in that case as well.
BTW Bure never did threaten to hold out during the 1994 play-offs. First Quinn claimed he was told this by "one of my guys" (McPhee???) and then Quinn had to admit that was untrue during the arbitration hearing when he was placed under oath.
Quinn tried to blame the Bure hold out rumour on the media making up stories. It was just another story planted by the Canucks with the Canucks friendly media when the negotiations turned nasty - just like has been done with other players like Linden, Ohlund, Umberger, Klatt, etc.
Given the treatment by Canucks management, it is surprising that Bure had not demanded a trade before he did. When you have a superstar and an elite talent like Bure you do not go out of your way to deliberately PO such a player.
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