Be A Player: Rewind | Valeri Bure
Valeri Bure shows he was a multi-dimensional athlete as he serves up aces against host Brett Lindros on the tennis court!
Born in Moscow, Russia
Drafted 33rd overall in 1992 by the Montreal Canadiens
174-266–400 over 621 GP
1994 World Junior bronze
1998 Olympic silver medalist
2002 Olympic bronze medalist
Played for MTL, CGY, FLA, STL, DAL
The year was 2001, the host was Brett Lindros, and the player was Valeri Bure.
In this Be A Player: Rewind episode, Bure shows off his multi-dimensional skill as an athlete by serving up aces both with and against Lindros on the tennis court!
At the time of airing, Bure had his best NHL season under his belt, having posted all-time highs in goals, assists, and points by the end of the 1999-2000 season (35-40–75). His 35 goals and 75 points were both team-highs for the Calgary Flames that year. His 27 goals were second best on the team in the 2000-01 season to Jarome Iginla's 27.
Then and Now
After retirement in 2005, Val was able to pursue his love of wine through opening a family operated vineyard alongside his wife, Candace Cameron, named Bure Family Wines, operated in Napa Valley, California.
"I started working during the harvest," Bure explained to NHL.com. "That's when it clicked in my head that this is what I really wanted to do after hockey. The excitement of picking the grapes from the vine. The excitement of sorting the fruit. The excitement of seeing the wine in the barrels.
"When our customers send us pictures of them drinking our wine on vacation skiing, say, or at a family celebration, it's a connection you build... That's, to me, what wine is all about: Family, connection."
For Bure, family is of the upmost importance and one of the elements he has woven into the business. The wine label used by the company is an homage to Bure's watchmaking great-grandfather, blending a version of the family crest featuring a bird – and nod to Bure's first passion – a hockey stick.
Bure's family-centric vision includes his extended hockey family too. Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was a recent visitor at the Napa Valley vineyard, and was taken aback by Bure's passion for the process.
But if you'd like to get your hands on one of his bottles, you'll have to wait. There is a two-year waiting list to sip on a bottle from one of the 700 cases produced a year.
You can read more about the Bure family vineyard, and about the time he spends coaching his sons Lev and Maksim, here.