The number 8 hasn’t exactly been a lucky number for Flames players. The landscape is littered with players who wore it for one or two seasons and there was a six year stretch (1990-96) where no Flames player wore that number. Jusso Valimaki currently sports #8 on the Flames roster, so there is some hope for that much maligned digit in Flames franchise history. But before there Juuso, there was Valeri Bure.
You could argue that no one player really symbolizes the struggles of those late 90’s Flames teams more Bure. The potential was there, but the results weren’t as a team. The Flames didn’t make the playoffs in the four years he was in Calgary, but Bure’s offence came to life after being traded from Montreal in February of 1998. Shortly after arriving in Calgary, Bure notched his first career hat trick in a game against the Edmonton Oilers and things seemed to be going well. In his first full season in 1998-99 Bure scored 26 goals, which was a career high for him and he added 27 assists to go with that goal total. Bure would soar in his next season, playing in all 82 games while collecting 75 points (35G - 40A) and land himself a spot in his one and only ASG appearance of his career. 2000-2001 would be Bure’s final season with the Flames and despite more solid numbers (55 points), the Flames are Bure would part ways after a rocky ending to another disappointing season for Calgary.
Bure would go on to play in 256 games with Calgary and collect 192 points over that time frame. He was a fan favorite and still is to this day. He’s one of the players so closely associated with the Flames “Blasty” jerseys that when they recently brought back that look, Bure was part of the video. It’s a shame a player of his caliber is associated with such a rough time in Flames franchise history because looking back, he really played well in Calgary.
After his departure, Valeri Bure would play in parts of five more seasons with the Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blue and Dallas Stars. He would play in 365 games outside of Calgary, but only collect 208 points. His time in Calgary produced the best numbers of his career and he spent the final season and a half of his career battling injuries.
Valeri currently lives in California with his wife and actress Candace Cameron. They own and operate Bure Family Wines in Napa Valley.
Other Players Having Worn #8 In Flames History
Lew Morrison (1973-74), Buster Harvey (1975-76), Dave Kryskow (1976), Dave Shand (1977-80), Bert Wilson (1981), Kari Eloranta (1982), Doug Risebrough (1983-87), Dave Reierson (1989), Trent Yawney (1996), Sami Helenius (1997), Mike Peluso (1998), Petr Buzek (2002-03), Brad Ference (2007), Anders Eriksson (2008-09), Staffan Kronwall (2010), Brendan Morrison (2011-12), Krys Kolanos (2012), Joe Colborne (2014-16), Nicklas Grossman (2017), Chris Stewart (2018), Juuso Valimaki (2019-20)
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