Former NHL forward Peter Zezel dead at 44
By Sports Network
The Sports Network
Former pro hockey player Peter Zezel died on Tuesday from a blood disorder that had ailed him for years. He was taken off of life support at a Toronto hospital.
In 2001, Zezel nearly died from the rare disorder known as hemolytic anemia. Although he recovered, the condition worsened recently and it ultimately led to his death.
Zezel's family issued a statement through the NHL Players Association:
"Peter will forever be remembered as a great teammate and a wonderful individual who touched the lives of many both on and off the ice."
Zezel enjoyed a 15-year career in the NHL with seven different teams. The Philadelphia Flyers drafted Zezel 41st overall in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft and he played in parts of five seasons with Philly, including a 33-goal campaign in 1986-87. Zezel was a key cog in the strong Flyers teams of the mid-1980s -- along with Dave Poulin, Rick Tocchet, Brian Propp and Ilkka Sinisalo among others -- that led the club to two appearances in the Stanley Cup finals.
In 1988, Zezel was traded to St. Louis in 1988 and later played for Washington, Toronto, Dallas, New Jersey and Vancouver.
In 873 career regular-season games, Zezel totaled 219 goals, 389 assists and 435 penalty minutes.
After his playing days, Zezel, a Toronto native, operated a sports camp for youth hockey and soccer players in Ontario. Zezel also made a cameo appearance in the 1986 hockey movie "Youngblood".