Bryan Berard, the one-eyed defenseman, has agreed to re-join the New York Islanders as a training camp invitee.
The 30-year old Berard will battle for a spot on the Islanders’ blue line, like that should be tough. Deciding against a life at sea saying 'yarrr' all the time, he likely will provide the Isles with some veteran leadership and slip into Tom Poti's role of defenseless defender and target of my ire.
I have quite mixed feelings about this. As much as I mock, Berard's passion for the sport is admirable. After taking a stick to the eye from Marian Hossa in 2000, this guy went through seven surgeries so he could get some sight back and he could get on the ice. He won the Masterton Trophy for dedication and that would make him ok in my book.
But, last year he ADMITTED to doing steroids in 2006 and was the first ever NHLer to get busted for them. Since the league didn't administer the test, he wasn't suspended or run through the ringer like Sean Hill was. (What is the Isles with 'roid popping defensemen??). Hmmm ... I guess when it comes down to it, I hate him. There should be no room for cheaters in this game - at least when it comes to steroids (Sudafed is alright, lol).
I think he needs to get the hell out of the game and either buy a parrot and hit the seven seas or turn to figure skating like D.B. Sweeney did ... but, since the Isles need the warm body, he very well could end up in orange -- like I need any more reasons to loathe them. They are desperate and pathetic, and if the league would contract and stop the dilution of talent he wouldn't have a shot. But Bettman would never do that, and the Isles will give him a shot, even though he is a cycloptic cheater. For shame.