Report: Pavel Bure retires, takes job as GM for Team Russia
MOSCOW - Pavel Bure apparently has opted for a shot at returning to his native Russia for a chance at international dominance over returning to the NHL on two bad knees.
According to a report on The Moscow News' web site, Bure has announced his retirement from the NHL and accepted the job of general manager for Team Russia.
A native of Moscow, the 34-year-old Bure was a seven-time All-Star and one of the most prolific goal-scorers in the NHL for more than a decade. He topped the 50-goal plateau five times from 1992-93 through 2000-01, beginning with back-to-back 60-goal efforts with Vancouver and ending with back-to-back Maurice Richard Trophies as the league's top goal scorer while with Florida.
Acquired by the New York Rangers from Florida on March 18, 2002, the "Russian Rocket" played in just 51 games with the club due to injury. In 2002-03, Bure was limited to 39 games and 19 goals due to arthroscopic surgery on both knees.
With his playing skills diminished due to injury, Bure will attempt to guide Team Russia to a gold medal, beginning with the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy. The Soviet Union won Olympic gold seven times from 1956 through 1988, but Russia has not won a gold medal in hockey the last two Olympic Winter Games.
Bure played for a Russian team that won silver in Nagano in 1998 and bronze in Salt Lake City in 2002. Bure scored a tournament-high nine goals in 1998, including five in one game, and two in 2002.
In 702 career NHL games, Bure recorded 437 goals and 342 assists with the Canucks, Panthers and Rangers. He won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie after recording 34 goals and 60 points in 65 games with Vancouver in 1991-92.
Bure's younger brother Valeri is a member of the Los Angeles Kings but has not played this season due to injury.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index