Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.
The Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Pavel Bure is today
Ignoring guys like Cam Neely and Mats Sundin, Pavel Bure is the first Vancouver Canuck to go into the Hockey Hall of Fame. While there may be debate over whether Bure deserves to get his number retired in Vancouver, but there’s no debate over whether he deserves to be inducted into the HHOF.
Bure was both the finest goalscorer of his generation and one of the most exciting players in the history of the NHL, finishing his career with 437 goals, with 254 of them coming in a Canucks uniform. He has the third highest goals-per-game in the NHL, behind only Mike Bossy and Mario Lemieux, with back-to-back 60 goal seasons in 1993 and 1994.
As for awards, he beat out Nicklas Lidstrom for the Calder Trophy in his rookie year, was a first team All-Star in 1994 and a second team All-Star in 2000 and 2001. By the time he led the league in goal-scoring for a second and third time, the Rocket Richard Trophy had been created for him to win. He was also named to the All-Star Game six times in his career.
It’s an impressive list of accomplishments, but it doesn’t stop there. Bure was also prolific at the international level, winning gold in the World Junior Championship in 1989 while scoring 8 goals in 7 games. In his three appearances in the World Junior Championships, Bure scored an incredible 27 goals in 21 games. He also won gold with the Soviet Union in the 1990 World Championships and was named the best forward at the Winter Olympics in 1998 when he scored 9 goals in 6 games and captained Russia to the silver medal.
The induction ceremony will be televised on TSN2 at 4:30 PM, with a replay of the Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Game at 6:30 PM. Bure played on Team Trottier alongside his brother Valeri, as well as a veritable smorgasbord of legendary talent, including fellow 2012 HHOF inductees Adam Oates and Joe Sakic.
In honour of Bure’s induction, a highlight video
YouTube user MAKAVELI719696, whose work has appeared on PITB before, put together this superb highlight video of some of Bure’s best (and one of his most notorious) moments in a Vancouver Canucks sweater. For many of these goals, this is the highest quality YouTube video that I have seen, making this a must-watch.
The most controversial inclusion is undoubtedly Bure’s blindside, flying elbow to the head of Shane Churla, ostensibly as retribution for previous cheap shots and to send a message to the rest of the Dallas Stars. Incredibly, Bure was neither penalized nor suspended for the elbow. In today’s NHL, with all of the emphasis on concussions, Bure would have been gone for the remainder of the 1994 playoffs, meaning the Canucks would have been pretty unlikely to make it to the Cup final that year.
This video is also notable for the killer ending, as Bure just gets up and walks off screen. Awesome.
Mats Sundin may have a few regrets about signing in Vancouver to end his career
One of the other great players that will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame alongside Pavel Bure is Mats Sundin, whose time with the Vancouver Canucks was almost as controversial as Bure’s. Sundin’s slow-roasted decision to return to the NHL halfway through the 2008-09 season was criticized by many fans, but much of the derision is connected to the massive $20-million, two-year contract Mike Gillis offered Sundin. It’s important to note that he didn’t sign that contract, eventually going with an $8.6 million, one-year contract that pro-rated to a total of $5 million.
Critics of Sundin’s time in Vancouver point to his disappointing regular season numbers, where he scored just 28 points in 41 games after three-straight seasons in Toronto of scoring over a point-per-game, while his defenders point to his impact on Ryan Kesler, who blossomed into a legitimate offensive threat on Sundin’s wing, as well as his 8 points in 8 playoff games, which was third on the Canucks behind the Sedins, who scored 10 points in 10 games.
While Sundin said all the right things in an interview with CanucksTV, it’s telling that his most memorable moment as a Canuck was scoring the shootout winner against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He apparently made it clear prior to the Legends game on Sunday that he wishes he had retired as a Maple Leaf, an understandable sentiment given his 13 seasons with the club and 11 seasons as team captain.
I wonder if he would have felt differently had he won the Cup with the Canucks, à la Ray Bourque with the Colorado Avalanche.
Naked Kesler on a sweater
You can find some odd things on Tumblr, but you can also find some awesome things. Sometimes, however, you find things that are both odd and awesome, tempting you to smash those two words together into the portmanteau of oddsome, which is regrettable.
Whoever decided that the infamous image of naked Ryan Kesler needed to be on a sweater is an oddsome person. Also, regrettable.
Now, this is clearly not a real sweater, but it definitely should be.
Also, we want to know who made this image. Drop us a line, because we think you’re oddsome.
I really need to stop saying that word.
Wait, there’s a female Fin?
Naked Kesler Sweater wasn’t the only thing we found on Tumblr. I stumbled across this odd animated gif of Fin, the Canucks mascot, framed by a kiss cam. The weird thing is, it shows him snogging a female version of himself.
I feel like I should have known about this, but I don’t recall ever seeing female Fin before. It wasn’t just a one-off, either, as another gif illustrates:
Now that, for some reason, looks more familiar.
Kudos to YzermanWingedWheel on Tumblr for capturing these exceedingly odd moments in gif form.
Tags: Fin, Hockey Hall of Fame, Mats Sundin, Naked Kesler, Pavel Bure, spitballin, The YouTubes