, 2022-12-27 10:04:11,
Welcome to NHL99, The Athletic’s countdown of the best 100 players in modern NHL history. We’re ranking 100 players but calling it 99 because we all know who’s No. 1 — it’s the 99 spots behind No. 99 we have to figure out. Every Monday through Saturday until February we’ll unveil new members of the list.
Pavel Bure is one of NHL’s greatest goal scorers and remains one of the most elusive stars in hockey history. An air of glamour and mystery clung to Bure at every stage of his career — from his contested selection at the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, through his holdout and public trade request in 1998, all of it heightened by his presence on gossip pages through the 1990s.
The fog around Bure has only thickened in retirement. Even among former NHL greats, he remains uniquely inaccessible.
When the NHL celebrated the top 100 players in hockey history as part of the league’s centennial celebrations at the 2017 NHL All-Star Game, Bure was the only living player named who wasn’t present.
Intensely private, Bure was nonetheless mobbed by fans in his playing days. At the height of “Pavelmania” in Vancouver, those close to Bure at the time remember scenes when he was quite literally chased down the streets like a 1970s rock star.
Bure, at his peak, hit a level of celebrity that’s rare for hockey players today.
Through the drama, the scrutiny and the attention, what made Bure such a memorable player and personality was how he thought of himself and carried himself…
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