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Thursday, June 20, 1997.
Pavel to miss Celebrity All-Star GameIt has come to our attention that Pavel will not play at the Celebrity All-Star hockey game to be played in Detroit this month, as he has not been cleared by the team doctors to do so.
FAN CLUB OFFERS LARGE MAGNETIC PICTURE OF PAVEL.
We featured this magnetic picture of Pavel in last month's news on this
web site. We have been offered to release this souvernir of Pavel to visitors to this web site for only $4.50. email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, June 10, 1997.
Russian Mob Shakes Down NHL Players
WASHINGTON (Reuter) -- The extent of extortion by the Russian mafia among NHL players is greater than previously believed, according to congressional investigators.
ESPN, citing a 15-month Senate investigation produced more than 100 interviews with NHL players, officials, owners, team officials and agents, reports that serious conclusions have been made about the Russian mafia's influence among NHL players.
There are 50 former Soviet players in the NHL and most of them are Russian.
``If you add in people who would know firsthand about extortion that occurred, I would venture to say, based upon our investigation, that a significant percentage of Russian hockey players skating in the NHL have been extorted in some way,'' Senate investigator Michael Bopp told ESPN. ``Based on the sample of players we spoke to, I would conclude that a third of the players had some direct involvement.''
ESPN made its original report regarding the Russian mob roughly six months ago. At the time, the network cited Vancouver Canucks superstar Pavel Bure's association with a figure in the Russia mafia. Bure acknowledged the relationship, claiming it was legitimate business.
The NHL's vice president of security, Dennis Cunningham, does not agree with the Senate's findings, telling ESPN that the number is blown up.
``I would say that's inflated as far as I was concerned,'' Cunningham said. ``I was kind of surprised he would pull this number out. We have asked for the specifics and attempted to help him on many occasions. So I'm a little bit surprised he could make that blanket statement. And I'd be happy to speak to him about that.''
ESPN also cited law enforcement sources in two different countries that the one-third figure is easily accurate and indicates an ongoing problem.
Bopp described an unnamed player's run-in with the Russian mafia.
``The player at first didn't say anything, denied knowing anything about extortion,'' Bopp said. ``Then the player said, and it seemed almost like a relief, the player told me, Look, `I'll tell you this once, then I'm not going to tell you again, so don't ask me. I'm not going to testify, but I'll tell you about being extorted.' And he proceeded to tell me an involved story lasting a period of several months where he was systematically extorted by an individual that we know to be connected to Russian organized crime. And this extortion included threats to his family, requests of six-figure payments, threats to blow up his car and then actual acts of damaging his property and threatening people he lived with.''
In addition, the Senate's investigation also uncovered the Russian mafia's entry into the National Basketball association and tennis.
``I have heard some evidence of Russian organized crime also attempting to or actually extorting basketball players from the former Soviet Union, and in one instance, a tennis player from the former Soviet Union,'' Bopp revealed.
ESPN cited a source that said an NBA player faced a six-figure payoff to protect his family. The NBA told ESPN that it has no knowledge, rumor or otherwise, of encroachment by the Russian mafia, while the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the governing body of men's tennis, told the network that no player has ever come forward. ESPN's law enforcement said Russian mafia figures were observed at the Lipton Championships in Key Biscayne, Florida earlier this year.
NHL COIN web siteThe NHL coin set being sold at the 711 stores now has a web-site, so that those wishing to purchase a coin, will be able to find a distributor in your area.
Click here to see their site.
Bure's sore neck delays Olympic plans.Wednesday, June 4, 1997.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Pavel Bure still has a sore neck from an old whiplash injury and the recurring problem casts doubt about his participation in the Winter Olympic Games in February.
New Canucks Logo RevealedTuesday, June 3, 1997.
Canucks Logo Fact Sheet
The Logo and Colors
The team's new colors are deep blue, deep red, sky blue and silver.
Why the "C"
The "C" stands for Canucks. But, it will also come to stand for what it means to be a Canuck – character, commitment and courage.
Why the Change?
The team has looked at possible change for the past three years.
Who Initiated the Change?
The logo change was a Vancouver Canucks initiative and has been considered for the past three years.
Why the Killer Whale?
It is instantly associated with the West Coast of British Columbia and fans worldwide will know where the Canucks are from.
Who Designed the Logo?
Canuck Management, Players and Ownership
Is True Native Art Used in the Logo?
The art used in the new Canucks logo is North West style art. It is not Native art and not meant to be.
What Kind of Research was Conducted to Conclude a Change was Desired by the Fans?
Focus groups comprised of fans and Season Ticket Holders.
Vancouver area residents will be able to watch the BCTV's special on the Canucks' new look: On Your Mark... the Canucks Hockey Heritage , at 7:00 p.m. tonite.
Pavel and Brother accept All-Star invitationMonday, June 2, 1997. Pavel and Valeri have accepted the invitation to play in the 1977 'Celebrity-All Star Hockey Game" to be played at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on June 22nd, 1997.
It is not known though at this time, due to Pavel's medical problems with his neck whether he'll actually play in the game, pending clearance by the Vancouver Canuck team physicians.