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Blast from past: Russian Rocket inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

Published time: November 13, 2012 12:20
Edited time: November 13, 2012 16:20
Hockey Hall of Fame 2012 inductees (L-R) Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure pose with their rings during a news conference in Toronto November 12, 2012 (Reuters / Mike Cassese)

Hockey Hall of Fame 2012 inductees (L-R) Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic, Adam Oates and Pavel Bure pose with their rings during a news conference in Toronto November 12, 2012 (Reuters / Mike Cassese)

Pavel Bure has officially joined his countrymen, coach Anatoly Tarasov, goalie Vladislav Tretyak and players Vyacheslav Fetisov, Valery Kharlamov and Igor Larionov, in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

On Monday night Pavel Bure found himself in a company with three other stars of the recent past – Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic and Adam Oates, who were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2012.

One of the most exciting players of his era, Bure played just 12 seasons in the NHL due to chronic knee problems.

After moving from Russia to North America, Bure made a blistering debut at Vancouver, winning the Calder Trophy as the league's best rookie in 1992. He went on to be a two-time 60-goal scorer.

The forward, dubbed The Russian Rocket for his excellent speed, averaged 36.7 goals per season playing with the Canucks, the Florida Panthers and the New York Rangers and ended his 702-game career in North America with 779 points.

He won gold medals for his country in the 1989 World Junior Championship and the 1990 World Championship, and received an Olympic silver medal in 1998 and a bronze in 2002.

"I'm truly humbled by this recognition. Looking back on my career I feel privileged to have lived this life, played this game and accomplished my dreams. Thank you everyone," the 41-year-old said in his induction speech.

Oates, who was never drafted, spent 19 years in the world’s best league and ended sixth all-time in the NHL in assists with 1,079. He added 341 goals for 1,420 points in 1,337 games combined with Detroit, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Anaheim and Edmonton from 1985-2004.

Sakic played his entire career with the Quebec/Colorado franchise and registered 1,641 points on 625 goals and 1,016 assists – all are franchise records. He is still with the Avalanche in an executive role.

Sundin, who became the first European to be the number one draft pick (in 1989 by Quebec), played four seasons with Sakic and the Nordiques before moving to Toronto. He spent 13 seasons with the Maple Leafs and was the team captain from 1997-2008.

The Swede holds franchise records for most goals (420), assists by a forward (567) and total points (987).

His highest international achievement came at the 2006 Winter Olympics, when he captained Tre Kroner to the Olympic gold.

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