Former Leafs defenseman arrested following bar fight

Ryan Smitheram
August 4, 2023  (5:57 PM)

On March 11, 2000, an errant stick from Marian Hossa, as he swung at the puck recklessly, hit former Leaf Bryan Berard in the face. The stick made contact with Berard's eye and it was unfortunately reported later that Berard had lost his sight due to the incident.

Berard would miss the entire 2000-2001 season as he recovered from the injury, but miraculously returned the following year with the New York Rangers where he played in all 82 games. Berard went on to play another five seasons in the NHL before playing one season in the KHL and retiring in 2009.
He has remained out of the public eye for the most part, but recently, on July 30th, Berard was arrested following an altercation in Newport, Rhode Island. According to police, the arresting officer did not know who Berard was and that he told him to "settle down," right before the fight started. Berard was eventually detained and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and is scheduled to appear in court on August 9th.
In speaking with reporters about the incident, Berard stated that because he is missing an eye, he thought that someone was jumping on his back and failed to realize that it was a police officer trying to calm him down/prevent things from escalating. Berard also mentioned that he expects the charges to be dropped because it was a misunderstanding between him and the responding officer.
Berard was drafted by the Senators first overall in the 1995 draft and could have had very good career had it not been derailed by his eye injury. Even with the eye injury, Berard skated in 619 games and recorded 323 points before officially retiring from hockey in 2009 due to a handful of injuries.
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