Zezel succumbs to rare blood disease

Tue May 26, 2009 9:48pm EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Peter Zezel, who played 15 seasons in the NHL, has died at 44 after complications from a blood disorder that ailed him for years, the NHL players' association (NHLPA) said on Tuesday.

"Peter will forever be remembered as a great team mate and a wonderful individual, who touched the lives of many both on and off the ice," Zezel's family said in a statement released by the NHLPA.

Taken in the second round of the 1983 NHL entry draft by the Philadelphia Flyers, Zezel's nomadic career included stints with the St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs, Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils and the Vancouver Canucks.

A hard-nosed two-way player, Zezel played 873 regular season games, scoring 219 goals and 389 assists.

(Writing by Steve Keating in Detroit; Editing by Ian Ransom; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

 
<p>Vancouver Canucks' Peter Zezel (L) is tripped up by Boston Bruins' Sergei Samsonov (R) during the first period of their NHL game in Boston, December 1, 1998. Zezel has died at 44 after complications from a blood disorder that ailed him for years, the NHL players' association (NHLPA) said. REUTERS/Brian Snyder</p>