Panthers pick up Valeri Bure

The Florida Panthers liked Valeri Bure so much the first time, they brought him back a second time.

The Panthers plucked Bure off the waiver wire from the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

Florida initially initially traded the right winger to St. Louis for Mike Van Ryn on March 11.

"We would always welcome Val Bure back in a Florida uniform," Panthers general manager Rick Dudley said. "He is a special talent and a very respected member of the dressing room."

Bure, 29, posted five goals and 26 points in 46 games with Florida plus two assists in five games for St. Louis before spraining his knee on March 29.

The Moscow native has 152 goals and 348 points in 553 games over nine NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames, Panthers and Blues.

Bure was drafted in the second round -- 33rd overall -- by Montreal in 1992, the same year his brother, Pavel, won the Calder Trophy as top rookie.

He was traded to Calgary along with a fourth-round draft pick for Jonas Hoglund and Zarley Zalapski on Feb. 1, 1998.

Bure enjoyed an all-star season with the Flames in 1999-2000, notching 35 goals and 75 points.

But he and Jason Wiemer wound up traded to Florida for Rob Niedermayer and a second-rounder on June 23, 2001.

Bure is slated to make $3.1 million US this coming season after earning $2.9 million US in 2002-03.

with files from CP Online