Bure will stay in Florida

Archived from 1998-99 season.

NHL teams

Florida Panthers

Panthers schedule

Panthers transactions

Panthers roster

Three weeks after Pavel Bure was traded to Florida in a three-team deal, the Panthers made sure Bure wasn't leaving anytime soon.

Panthers signed Bure to a six-year, $47 million contract extension. The deal includes an option year and puts him among the NHL's highest-paid players.

"I'm really happy to be playing here," Bure said at a news conference at the National Car Rental Center. "I know this team can do something good. It's nice to have a long-term contract. I felt real comfortable here from the first day. It's a big responsibility, but I'll just go out there and do the best I can."

The deal represents a true commitment from Panthers owner Wayne Huizenga and general manager Bryan Murray to Bure, who is clearly one of the few true offensive superstars in the NHL.

"Bryan and I have been looking to do something for some time for this team to step up to the next level," Panthers president Bill Torrey said. "It's a commitment to Pavel, a commitment to the fans to let them know this team wants to compete at the highest levels. For Wayne to give us this kind of backing, it's a clear indication of the direction we're going to go."

Bure, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury, has given the Panthers' sagging offense a boost of energy. He collected eight goals and three assists over six games, including a hat trick in a 3-3 tie against Philadelphia. Florida went 4-1-1 in the span.

The team had been drawing well but showed a slight increase in attendance since the acquisition of the "Russian Rocket."

"We wanted to make a deal that would give us a number of years to build around this star player," Murray said. "We've known the last four, five days the deal was going to be done."

Contact The HockeyNut - Front Page - Archive

Copyright©1999 The HockeyNut