October 11, 2018

Pavel's Kind Gesture

During the 1994 playoffs, a story leaked that Vancouver Canucks superstar Pavel Bure was going to pull himself out of the Canucks line up before the Stanley Cup final in an attempt to force the Canucks to sign him to a very expensive raise for the subsequent number of seasons. Don Cherry, among others, vilified him for it.

The story, likely leaked by the New York Rangers who wanted any advantage they could find against the seemingly-unstoppable Canucks, was never true. The only man more furious than Pavel about the whole thing was Canucks boss Pat Quinn. If you know anything about Quinn, you know he is not the kind of guy you want to be mad at you.

Despite the fallacy, Bure was tainted by the incident. No one seems to remember the night he gave up his bed for Gino Odjick's father.

Pavel and Gino were the best of friends, as unlikely as that still seems. Gino's father came to watch his son play in New York. Joe Odjick hadn't worked in sometime as winter had passed and he was laid off from his snow removal job that paid all of $13 an hour. Gino arranged for the hockey tickets, but they couldn't find his dad a room. The fancy and overpriced Manhattan hotel was sold out, as was everything else in the area. 

Pavel and Gino were roommates on the road, back in the day when everybody had roommates except maybe the starting goaltender and a real long tenured veteran. Pavel gave Joe Odjick his bed, and left to another set of teammates' room where he crashed on the couch.

But Don Cherry never told you that, did he?

Sadly, some still believe the Bure threatened-holdout story was true and he still has some tarnish on him about it. It may even have contributed to Bure's eventual exit from Vancouver a few years later.

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