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Bryan Berard and What could have been

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11-13-2012, 04:54 PM
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sailorjerry96
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Bryan Berard and What could have been

He had 323 points in 619 games. Won the calder trophy as rookie of the year in 97' and still got 47 points in 58 games 3 years after his eye injury. Didn't really watch his last few years in Columbus but what happened to this guy? Even in his years with Columbus he posted 32 points in 44 games and with the NYI posted 22 points in 55 games.

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11-13-2012, 04:57 PM
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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.[3] 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.(dead link) 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."

Bryan Berard accepted an invitation to attend training camp for the 2007–08 season with the New York Islanders. Berard performed well enough to earn a one-year contract with the Islanders at the conclusion of training camp.[4] In his first game back with the first NHL team he ever played for, Berard scored the game-winning goal against another of his former teams, the rival New York Rangers in a 2–1 Islander victory.

Prior to the start of the 2008–09 NHL season, Berard was invited to training camp with the Philadelphia Flyers. He was not offered a contract despite tallying 2 assists in Philadelphia's final game in Wachovia Spectrum. Berard signed on November 16, 2008 with Vityaz Chekhov of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He scored 17 points in 25 games played.

Berard retired after the 2008–09 season. He lives in Lincoln, Rhode Island. He appeared in 2011 on the Battle of the Blades CBC television program.
Here ya go.

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11-13-2012, 04:58 PM
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sailorjerry96
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Even if he did test positive for steroids, i mean he could still be an effective player on some teams. Certainly better than a few defensemen around the league

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11-13-2012, 05:00 PM
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He wasn't good defensively when he had two eyes, and losing one didn't help that at all.

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11-13-2012, 05:02 PM
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^ I'm just speculating here, but it would make sense if he was taking steriods to heal up his back which he injured multiple times and had to have surgery.

He had a few chances at teams, but obviously couldn't stay healthy enough, went to the KHL and then hung them up.

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11-13-2012, 07:29 PM
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Would have been an offensive juggernaut.

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11-13-2012, 08:36 PM
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Alain Racette
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Originally Posted by Stansfield View Post
He wasn't good defensively when he had two eyes, and losing one didn't help that at all.
The fact that he even attempted an NHL comeback is admirable, so props to him for trying. He did quite well, all things considered. I definitely didn't see that one coming...

... on second thought, maybe Berard as well.

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11-13-2012, 08:55 PM
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I think he could have been a premier puck moving defenseman. He was never strong defensively so he would have had to been paired with a good defender. Maybe not a Norris candidate but still among the best in points.

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11-14-2012, 01:10 AM
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He was a fantastic point producer. His defensive play was shoddy, however. He also played on generally ****** teams. He could have put up elite offensive numbers for a defenseman if he stayed healthy. I was pulling for him when he got the tryout from the Flyers.

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11-14-2012, 11:51 AM
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A great what if. I think if he hadn't got injured he would have been one of the better offensive defensemen of the past decade.

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11-14-2012, 11:58 AM
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Sadly do people remember Brian Fogarty a great junior player had size speed but also had demons. Factors that can't be measured in measurements but just as important

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11-14-2012, 01:12 PM
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There are times when I wish players like Berard or even Lindros could make a comeback after some time off. Hard to say for Lindros with all of those concussions, but man was he an exciting player to watch in his heyday.

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11-14-2012, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Stansfield View Post
He wasn't good defensively when he had two eyes, and losing one didn't help that at all.
Pretty much. He would have had a much better, more complete career but he had major defensive issues that were going to prevent him from living up to the #1 overall hype in any case.

And lets not forget that his two full seasons before being hurt were 34 and 30 point efforts. It isn’t like he was on an upward trajectory to stardom when the injury happened.

If he plays a full career, he maybe gets into the 50-60 point range a couple times and makes an All-Star game purely on offensive merit. Doubt he would ever have had the two-way stuff to finish top-10 in Norris voting or anything like that.

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11-14-2012, 04:46 PM
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I think his demise goes further back than people think. It comes before his steroid scandal and even before the eye injury in 2000.

He was a well deserved rookie of the year in 1997. Then came 1997-'98 when he started the season off with a bang. He had 18 points in his first 20 games and I can remember a Hockey News article (back when that magazine was gospel) where he was aiming at 82 points. I thought that was pretty amazing but it wasn't outlandish either. He had skill, he rushed the puck up the ice very well and seemed to have little fear doing it. He was on the US Olympic team in 1998 as well and if anyone remembers the NHL landscape at that time it was predicted that he would win some Norris trophies someday.

I don't know what happened to him in 1998-'99 but he dropped. He had 15 points in his first 31 games with the Islanders and then he was traded. It was strange to say the least. The guy wasn't even 22 years old yet and he was a potential Norris winner. He is traded to Toronto, which was the highest scoring team in the NHL that year. He finishes the rest of the year off with 19 points in 38 games. Not Norris material that's for sure.

Then in 1999-'00 he is still with the Leafs and somehow only musters 30 points in 64 games before the eye injury from Hossa's stick. People that think he could have been something forget that he seemed to have already hit his peak in his rookie season and was going down after that. He was on the Leafs, one of the best in the NHL then and he is definitely not their best defenseman.

You might say, "Yeah well Mike Milbury was nuts, he traded everyone away on the Isles." This is true, but this was a trade that didn't shock anyone for some reason. For once Milbury might have been onto something. I wish I could tell you why he never panned out as a star but my only way of thinking was that Berard just seemed to be a good rusher with the puck and not great defensively. It's true Housley among others wasn't either, but Berard seemed to lack the hockey sense that these others had. Housley had great hockey sense. I never saw that with Berard. So maybe he was becoming an easy guy to figure out earlier than we thought and he didn't have an answer to it. That's my thought anyway.

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11-14-2012, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Stansfield View Post
He wasn't good defensively when he had two eyes, and losing one didn't help that at all.
Colin White managed to be pretty decent after a similar eye injury, although never the same player as he couldn't be physical like he used to.

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11-14-2012, 10:59 PM
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Played in the wrong era for his skill set.

If he plays in the late 70's and 80's then a slightly lesser Phil Housley IMO.

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11-15-2012, 09:00 AM
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I think his demise goes further back than people think. It comes before his steroid scandal and even before the eye injury in 2000.

He was a well deserved rookie of the year in 1997. Then came 1997-'98 when he started the season off with a bang. He had 18 points in his first 20 games and I can remember a Hockey News article (back when that magazine was gospel) where he was aiming at 82 points. I thought that was pretty amazing but it wasn't outlandish either. He had skill, he rushed the puck up the ice very well and seemed to have little fear doing it. He was on the US Olympic team in 1998 as well and if anyone remembers the NHL landscape at that time it was predicted that he would win some Norris trophies someday.

I don't know what happened to him in 1998-'99 but he dropped. He had 15 points in his first 31 games with the Islanders and then he was traded. It was strange to say the least. The guy wasn't even 22 years old yet and he was a potential Norris winner. He is traded to Toronto, which was the highest scoring team in the NHL that year. He finishes the rest of the year off with 19 points in 38 games. Not Norris material that's for sure.

Then in 1999-'00 he is still with the Leafs and somehow only musters 30 points in 64 games before the eye injury from Hossa's stick. People that think he could have been something forget that he seemed to have already hit his peak in his rookie season and was going down after that. He was on the Leafs, one of the best in the NHL then and he is definitely not their best defenseman.

You might say, "Yeah well Mike Milbury was nuts, he traded everyone away on the Isles." This is true, but this was a trade that didn't shock anyone for some reason. For once Milbury might have been onto something. I wish I could tell you why he never panned out as a star but my only way of thinking was that Berard just seemed to be a good rusher with the puck and not great defensively. It's true Housley among others wasn't either, but Berard seemed to lack the hockey sense that these others had. Housley had great hockey sense. I never saw that with Berard. So maybe he was becoming an easy guy to figure out earlier than we thought and he didn't have an answer to it. That's my thought anyway.
thanks.

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11-15-2012, 02:49 PM
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Played in the wrong era for his skill set.

If he plays in the late 70's and 80's then a slightly lesser Phil Housley IMO.
See, I'm not so sure about that. I mentioned this in my first post that he seemed to lack hockey sense altogether. Some players do. Rico Fata could skate like the wind but the knock on him was "limited hockey sense". I think the NHL was starting to figure Berard out sooner than he expected. When you look at Brian Leetch or Coffey or Housley you would say they are not only great rushers but players with great vision and hockey sense as well. I never felt that with Berard. I always thought he was just a good rusher with little else at his disposal. For whatever reason the league was starting to figure him out long before his eye injury. Some players have one trademark move and once it gets exploited they can't do a whole lot else. That's my opinion on Berard.

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11-15-2012, 04:26 PM
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See, I'm not so sure about that. I mentioned this in my first post that he seemed to lack hockey sense altogether. Some players do. Rico Fata could skate like the wind but the knock on him was "limited hockey sense". I think the NHL was starting to figure Berard out sooner than he expected. When you look at Brian Leetch or Coffey or Housley you would say they are not only great rushers but players with great vision and hockey sense as well. I never felt that with Berard. I always thought he was just a good rusher with little else at his disposal. For whatever reason the league was starting to figure him out long before his eye injury. Some players have one trademark move and once it gets exploited they can't do a whole lot else. That's my opinion on Berard.
I’d agree that this is pretty much exactly the case.

Berard could generate points by playing a very high-risk attacking style, and jumping into the play and joining the rush on a constant basis. This is what we saw early in his career with the Islanders – quite a few points but really poor defensive play.

When coaches tried to get him to settle down and play more within himself, the points stopped coming at anywhere close to the same rate. He didn’t have the hockey sense and vision to be a dynamic point producer without playing an all-out offensive style as a 4th forward. He was great at hopping into the play and creating a 3-on-2 rush, but not really all that great at springing a rush with an excellent outlet pass. And he didn’t really pick his spots all that well.

Result was that during his Toronto years he was just kind of a middling ‘meh’ player – improved defensively but not really all that great, and not really anything special offensively anymore, either.

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11-15-2012, 04:36 PM
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Man, the drafts from the mid 1990s were horrendous weren't they?

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11-17-2012, 10:13 AM
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Man, the drafts from the mid 1990s were horrendous weren't they?
the '96 draft was brutal

Code:
1	1	Ottawa	Chris Phillips	D	Prince Albert Raiders [WHL]	1025	65	191	256	671
1	2	San Jose	Andrei Zyuzin	D	Salavat Yulajev (Russia)	496	38	82	120	446
1	3	NY Islanders J.P. Dumont	R	Val d'Or Foreurs [QMJHL]	822	214	309	523	364
1	4	Washington	Alex Volchkov	R	Barrie Colts [OHL]	                   3	0	0	0	0
1	5	Dallas	        Richard Jackman	D	Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 	231	19	58	77	166
1	6	Edmonton	Boyd Devereaux	C	Kitchener Rangers [OHL]	627	67	112	179	205
1	7	Buffalo	Erik Rasmussen	C	U. of Minnesota [WCHA]	545	52	76	128	305
1	8	Boston	Johnathan Aitken	D	Medicine Hat Tigers [WHL]	44	0	1	1	70
1	9	Anaheim	Ruslan Salei	        D	Las Vegas Thunder [IHL]	917	45	159	204	1065
1	10	New Jersey	Lance Ward         D	Red Deer Rebels [WHL]	        209	4	12	16	391
aside from Daniel Briere (24th overall by Phoenix), I'm not sure there's a player from that first round that was worth using a first round pick on.

Phillips, Salei (RIP), Zubrus, and NHL Player Derek Morris are all solid players, but in hindsight I'm not sure I would have used a first round pick on them.


Last edited by iamjs: 11-17-2012 at 10:19 AM.
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11-17-2012, 10:36 AM
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the '96 draft was brutal

Code:
1	1	Ottawa	Chris Phillips	D	Prince Albert Raiders [WHL]	1025	65	191	256	671
1	2	San Jose	Andrei Zyuzin	D	Salavat Yulajev (Russia)	496	38	82	120	446
1	3	NY Islanders J.P. Dumont	R	Val d'Or Foreurs [QMJHL]	822	214	309	523	364
1	4	Washington	Alex Volchkov	R	Barrie Colts [OHL]	                   3	0	0	0	0
1	5	Dallas	        Richard Jackman	D	Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 	231	19	58	77	166
1	6	Edmonton	Boyd Devereaux	C	Kitchener Rangers [OHL]	627	67	112	179	205
1	7	Buffalo	Erik Rasmussen	C	U. of Minnesota [WCHA]	545	52	76	128	305
1	8	Boston	Johnathan Aitken	D	Medicine Hat Tigers [WHL]	44	0	1	1	70
1	9	Anaheim	Ruslan Salei	        D	Las Vegas Thunder [IHL]	917	45	159	204	1065
1	10	New Jersey	Lance Ward         D	Red Deer Rebels [WHL]	        209	4	12	16	391
aside from Daniel Briere (24th overall by Phoenix), I'm not sure there's a player from that first round that was worth using a first round pick on.

Phillips, Salei (RIP), Zubrus, and NHL Player Derek Morris are all solid players, but in hindsight I'm not sure I would have used a first round pick on them.

Eh, most 1st rounders won't end up having a career as good as JP Dumont...

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11-17-2012, 10:48 AM
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Eh, most 1st rounders won't end up having a career as good as JP Dumont...
I'll give you Dumont. He did put up some good numbers in Buffalo and especially Nashville. When I originally posted it, I was thinking more of his two year decline at the end of his NHL career.

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11-17-2012, 10:49 AM
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I think Berard would have ended up somewhere in the vicinity of a Sergei Gonchar type of career. He'd have produced more points, but been worse defensively. Probably would have made a couple of All-Star teams, and maybe had a postseason All-Star nod on an occasion or two, but that's about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
See, I'm not so sure about that. I mentioned this in my first post that he seemed to lack hockey sense altogether. Some players do. Rico Fata could skate like the wind but the knock on him was "limited hockey sense". I think the NHL was starting to figure Berard out sooner than he expected. When you look at Brian Leetch or Coffey or Housley you would say they are not only great rushers but players with great vision and hockey sense as well. I never felt that with Berard. I always thought he was just a good rusher with little else at his disposal. For whatever reason the league was starting to figure him out long before his eye injury. Some players have one trademark move and once it gets exploited they can't do a whole lot else. That's my opinion on Berard.
True, but he was still fairly young when the eye injury occurred, and it's not like players stop developing at age 21 or 22 anyway.

Look at someone like Scott Niedermayer, who had terrific sense and vision. It took him five full NHL seasons to even begin to find some consistency in his game. It took Chris Pronger several seasons and a trade to do the same.

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11-17-2012, 11:24 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjs View Post
the '96 draft was brutal

Code:
1	1	Ottawa	Chris Phillips	D	Prince Albert Raiders [WHL]	1025	65	191	256	671
1	2	San Jose	Andrei Zyuzin	D	Salavat Yulajev (Russia)	496	38	82	120	446
1	3	NY Islanders J.P. Dumont	R	Val d'Or Foreurs [QMJHL]	822	214	309	523	364
1	4	Washington	Alex Volchkov	R	Barrie Colts [OHL]	                   3	0	0	0	0
1	5	Dallas	        Richard Jackman	D	Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 	231	19	58	77	166
1	6	Edmonton	Boyd Devereaux	C	Kitchener Rangers [OHL]	627	67	112	179	205
1	7	Buffalo	Erik Rasmussen	C	U. of Minnesota [WCHA]	545	52	76	128	305
1	8	Boston	Johnathan Aitken	D	Medicine Hat Tigers [WHL]	44	0	1	1	70
1	9	Anaheim	Ruslan Salei	        D	Las Vegas Thunder [IHL]	917	45	159	204	1065
1	10	New Jersey	Lance Ward         D	Red Deer Rebels [WHL]	        209	4	12	16	391
aside from Daniel Briere (24th overall by Phoenix), I'm not sure there's a player from that first round that was worth using a first round pick on.

Phillips, Salei (RIP), Zubrus, and NHL Player Derek Morris are all solid players, but in hindsight I'm not sure I would have used a first round pick on them.
Eh Phillips definitely was first round material. Didn't end up being top 10 pick worthy, yet alone #1 pick worthy, but he was a solid stay-at-home dman for most of his career and was a top pairing guy for a good while. We see far worse dmen then Phillips going first round, and even early first, every year.

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