Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider on Tuesday released the following statement regarding the passing of former Flyer Peter Zezel, who died at age 44 from a rare blood disorder:
"I'm personally very, very sad today with the news of Peter's passing. I spoke to him last week when I first learned he was having problems. He was hopeful, as was I and all of those who loved him. Peter was a good friend of mine and this is a real tragedy. He was a wonderful young man and a great member of the Flyers organization. We are all saddened by his passing and we want to send our condolences to his loved ones."
Zezel was drafted by the Flyers in the second round (41st overall) in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. In parts of five seasons with the Flyers, Zezel scored 91 goals and added 170 assists in 310 games.
In 873 career games with the Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, New Jersey Devils and Vancouver Canucks, Zezel had 219 goals and 389 assists for 608 points and 435 penalty minutes in 873 games. He retired from the NHL in 1999.
For more on Zezel, click here
for coverage on NHL.com.
To see his first goal in the NHL, click here
Mike Emrick comments on the passiing of Zezel, here
* * *
More comments on Zezel, from former Flyers:Rick Tocchet
: “It is a sad day. Obviously, as a former teammate, it is a sad loss. I know he touched a lot of lives. Unfortunately, I had lost touch with Peter the last few years. We kind of went our separate ways in the hockey world. In talking recently with some of his friends regarding the stuff he was doing with the youth hockey he had been involved with back in Toronto, I am sure he will be leaving behind a legacy. He was just a great guy.
“In the time that we were teammates in Philadelphia, he was probably one of the most popular guys, not just with the Flyers, but among all sports figures in Philadelphia. He was probably one of the top three athletes in Philadelphia at that time. Everybody recognized him on and off the ice. As far as his play was concerned, he was one of the best draw guys in the league and one of the best passers. I know his rookie year he had a bunch of assists. He had really good chemistry with Timmy Kerr on the power play. He was just a guy you could count on. He was a guy you couldn’t knock off the puck. He was a big part of our team.
“Peter was a matinee idol. He was one of those guys who was infectious. When you went out with him, the girls really liked him. He had a fan base of girls that in all the years I’ve played in the NHL, I have never seen a guy that had so many girls flock to him. He was very fan friendly. I never saw him turn down signing an autograph. The public relations department loved him because he never turned down hospital or school visits. Mr. Snider will even probably tell you that Peter was one of the most accessible Flyers who ever played the game.”Bob Clarke
: “It obviously is way too early for a man to die at 44 years old. The tragedy surrounding it is just horrific for any of us who knew Peter. Peter was a pretty good hockey player. When he turned pro in Philadelphia, which was my first year (as management), he was an instant favorite with the fans, particularly the young girls. He could play hockey. He was a tank on skates. He could hit and hit very hard. He was terrific on face-offs. He was very skilled with his feet, with the puck and actually very skilled with his stick setting up plays. He was a really good young player who quite possibly had a shot a being a lot better.”Kjell Sameulsson
: “I am very sad and very surprised. I knew he was a little bit sick but I didn’t know it was this serious. He was a great guy. I played with him for two years in the Flyers organization. As a player he was very strong on face-offs and a good offensive player. I know when he was here there were guys like Derrick Smith, Rick Tocchet and him. There were a lot of girls, a lot of young girls, wearing Pete Zezel, Rick Tocchet and Derrick Smith jerseys. I do remember that. He was a good teammate. He was kind of a low-key, quiet type. You had to get to know him before he opened up to you.” Craig Berube
: “Obviously, it is very upsetting. He was a great guy. He was a great teammate. He always had a smile on his face. He came to the rink always happy. He was fun to be around and was a good hockey player for a long time. He played hard.”