• email
  • Bookmark and Share

THN.com Blog: Still pulling for Berard despite better judgment

Bryan Berard has 76 goals and 323 points in 616 career NHL games. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

Zoom Image

Bryan Berard has 76 goals and 323 points in 616 career NHL games. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

What he did is unforgivable, but regardless past troubles that will always taint my opinion of the former Calder winner, I still hope Bryan Berard catches on with the Flyers.

(As a quick aside, the NHL’s drug policy is a joke and needs to be restructured immediately, but that’s a rant for another day.)

Part of me will always pull for Berard – though I’m sure that won’t endear me to fans of the Senators, for whom he refused to play after being taken No. 1 in the ’95 draft - as his is a career of potential that was lost; doomed by an errant stick, which in all likelihood robbed him of an illustrious NHL tenure.

Memories from my formative years are pretty sparse, but I vividly remember sitting in the visitor’s end of the old London Gardens – then the home of the Ontario League’s Knights – watching Berard patrol the blueline for the Detroit Whalers circa ’95-96.

The recollection remains because of his dominance.

Berard was a man among boys. When he, along with Sean Haggerty, a Leafs draft pick who played a total of 14 NHL games, were on the ice in an even-strength situation, the Whalers appeared to be on a power play.

The Woonsocket, R.I., native totaled 89 points in 56 games that season. He was unquestionably the most dominate junior player I ever saw live. And I’ve seen my fair share of OHL games.

Related Links

Because I witnessed first-hand his promise and later watched in horror as it was cut short, I’ll always feel a connection to the offensive defenseman.

It’s unlikely Berard, 31, will be up to the task of taking a regular shift with the Flyers, who are already fairly deep on the blueline. Although there’s a chance he could slide in as the No. 7 guy or as a power play specialist.

I hope he does. I hope the man goes out on his terms, when he chooses, not because his immense skills were taken from him far before his time.

I present to you, the most awkward interview in the history of television. Had Zworykin known this would be the result of his work, he would have been a barber.

Edward Fraser is the editor of thehockeynews.com. His blog normally appears Fridays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

More Stories

THN.com Blog: NHL's useless loser point creates detrimental confusion

Earlier in March we received a letter to the editor from Gord White of Aurora, Ont., suggesting...

THN.com Blog: Trading Shea Weber worth exploring

The No. 1 priority for GM David Poile this off-season will be the future of Shea Weber, who will...

THN.com Blog: The NHL’s five most disappointing teams

Expectations can be crushing. Not only to the players and teams who crumble under the weight,...

THN.com Blog: 2011 UFA all-star teams, Pt. 2

There’s still more than 450 regular season games, at least 45 playoff games and one...
blog comments powered by Disqus

THN on Twitter