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Bryan Wallace Berard (born March 5, 1977) is an Americanmarker professional ice hockey player, currently a free agent. He was the first overall pick in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators. He is most noted for a debilitating eye injury he received early in his career. He also attended Mount Saint Charles Academymarker.

Playing career

He was drafted first overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. He would not play a game for the Senators, after informing the club he would not report. The Senators traded him along with Martin Straka to the New York Islanders for Wade Redden and Damian Rhodes. He was a successful player on the Islanders and was rewarded for his efforts in 1997 by winning the Calder Trophy as the top rookie player in the NHL. He also played for the United States in the 1998 Winter Olympics. After four years on Long Islandmarker, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Berard played the last two seasons in Columbus. Besides his Calder Trophy season with the Islanders, Berard’s best season was 2003–04 in which he was 13–34–47 in only 58 games with the Chicago Blackhawks. In 619 career NHL games with the Islanders, Toronto, Rangers, Boston, Chicago, and Columbus, Berard has 76 goals and 247 assists for a total of 323 points. He is tied for 128th on the NHL all-time scoring list for defensemen.

Eye injury

On March 11, 2000, while Berard was playing for the Leafs in a game against the Senators in Ottawa, the stick of Marián Hossa clipped Berard in the right eye, severely injuring it. The eye had been severely slashed on sclera which results a retinal tear and a detached retina. In the hospital room after the incident, after being told he might lose his eye, Berard reportedly told his friends that he would play hockey again. Despite being optimistic about his future in hockey, he ended up receiving a $6.5 million settlement from his insurance company, what many considered to be a career-ending settlement.

During the next season, he underwent seven eye operations, improving his vision in the eye to 20/600. He started working out again in April 2001 and started skating again months thereafter. He was later fitted with a contact lens that allowed him to meet the league's minimum vision requirement of 20/400.

When it became apparent that he might play again, the Leafs stated they were interested in his services , but Berard opted to play for a team that was currently rebuilding and was a bit closer to his home of Woonsocket. Upon signing a tryout contract with the New York Rangers, Berard returned his insurance settlement and risked a comeback to the NHL. He played well enough that his tryout contract turned into a $2 million contract for the 2002–03 season.

He then enjoyed successful one-year stints with both the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks before signing with the Columbus Blue Jackets before the 2005–06 season. As a result of his perseverance, Berard was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy for his dedication to hockey in 2004.

Steroid testing

In early 2006, it was revealed that he had tested positive for an anabolic steroid known as 19-norandrosterone, in a drug test he had taken in November 2005. He was the first NHL player to ever test positive for steroids. The NHL did not hand down any form of suspension to Berard as they did not administer the test, but he was banned from international play for two years effective January 3, 2006.() Berard said after the incident, "I made a mistake that resulted in a suspension and, while unintentional, I take full responsibility. I became aware of this problem after the fact, and for that I am disappointed in myself."

2007–08 season

Bryan Berard accepted an invitation to attend training camp for the 2007–08 season with the New York Islanders. He performed well enough that Berard signed a one-year contract with the Islanders at the conclusion of training camp.

In his first game back with the Islanders, Berard scored the game-winning goal against his former team, the rival New York Rangers in a 2–1 Islander victory.

Philadelphia Flyers

Prior to the start of the 2008-09 NHL season, Berard was invited to training camp with the Philadelphia Flyers. He wasn't offered a contract despite tallying 2 assists in Philadelphia's final game in the legendary Wachovia Spectrummarker vs. an NHL team, the Carolina Hurricanes. The Flyers won 4-1.

European career

He moved on November 16, 2008 to Vityaz Chekhov of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He scored 17 points in 25 games played.


Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1994–95 Detroit Junior Red Wings OHL 58 20 55 75 97 21 4 20 24 38
1995–96 Detroit Whalers OHL 56 31 58 89 116 17 7 18 25 41
1996–97 New York Islanders NHL 82 8 40 48 86
1997–98 New York Islanders NHL 75 14 32 46 59
1998–99 New York Islanders NHL 34 4 11 15 26
1998–99 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 38 5 14 19 22 17 1 8 9 8
1999–00 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 64 3 27 30 42
2001–02 New York Rangers NHL 82 2 21 23 60
2002–03 Boston Bruins NHL 80 10 28 38 64 3 1 0 1 2
2003–04 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 58 13 34 47 53
2005–06 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 44 12 20 32 32
2006–07 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 11 0 3 3 8
2007–08 New York Islanders NHL 54 5 17 22 48
2008–09 Vityaz Chekhov KHL 25 3 14 17 103
NHL totals 619 76 247 323 500 20 2 8 10 10
KHL totals 25 3 14 17 103

See also



External links

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