Rangers pick up superstar scorer Pavel Bure from Florida

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers acquired forward Pavel Bure in a trade with the Florida Panthers on Monday night.

New York, which also acquired a second-round pick, sends disappointing defenseman Igor Ulanov and young defenseman Filip Novak to Florida along with the Rangers' first- and second-round picks in this June's draft, and a fourth-round pick next year.

''He's a constant threat,'' Rangers general manager Glen Sather said of Bure. ''He's someone who can score any time he gets the puck on his stick. He's an artist. He's a superstar.''

The deal was completed the night before the NHL's trading deadline of 3 p.m. EST Tuesday.

Sather, who believes Bure is one of the ''top four or five players in the league,'' has been involved in talks for the speedy right wing for about a month. Florida pulled the deal off the table Sunday, but called back Monday to ask if it was still available.

''It's been a real roller coaster ride,'' Sather said. ''Whether they were going to do it or not. It was tough trade for them to do.''

Florida coach Mike Keenan was the point man on the deal, working closely with GM Chuck Fletcher.

Thrashers trade Ferraro to Blues

The Atlanta Thrashers traded captain Ray Ferraro to the St. Louis Blues for a fourth-round draft pick Monday night, giving the 18-year veteran a chance to finish his career with a playoff team.

Ferraro, in the midst of his worst season ever with only eight goals, hasn't scored since Feb. 8.

He has just 27 points in 61 games this season. The center sat out Monday night's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins because the trade was imminent, Atlanta general manager Don Waddell said.

''Ray and I had a discussion some three or four weeks ago about whether he would want to go to a team,'' Waddell said. ''He's a special player to us and to me personally because he's done so much for this organization both on and off the ice for the first three years.

''If Ray's wishes would have been to stay here and finish the year with us, certainly I would have honored that.''

The Thrashers, who lost 4-2 to the Penguins, have the worst record in the NHL. The Blues are seventh in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Dallas and two ahead of Vancouver.

''I felt a rush of warmth go through me and like a nervousness and energy,'' Ferraro said of his reaction to the trade. ''I haven't played in a playoff game in four years and I'm nervous how I'll fit in.''

Even though Ferraro wanted to be traded, Waddell said the deal wouldn't have been made for anything less than a fourth-round pick, which the Thrashers got for this year's draft.

''We put a price tag on it that will help us,'' Waddell said. ''Some people thought that was too high, because in the fourth round we still feel like we're getting a quality player. We wanted to make sure we were getting some kind of asset back.''

Ferraro, 37, scored his 400th career goal Dec. 28, and is tied for 67th on the career list with 402. He missed the first two games of the season with a knee injury and has missed three other games with various ailments. The Blues will be his fifth NHL team.

''I'm certainly disappointed with the way the season went this year, both for the team and myself personally,'' Ferraro said. ''I didn't play as well as I would have liked and I'll always be disappointed in that.''

Since he's missed the playoffs the past three seasons -- including one in Los Angeles and two in Atlanta -- Ferraro has worked as an analyst for ESPN's playoff coverage. If he decides to retire, Ferraro is expected to move into that role full-time.

''I'm not necessarily sure what'll happen (after the season),'' Ferraro said. ''But if this my last crack at it, I'm happy to get a chance to play in the playoffs.''

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