NEW YORK, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Bryan Berard, who is attempting a comeback
after nearly losing his right eye from an accidental high stick 18 months ago, apparently made enough of an impression on New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather, it was reported Thursday.
The New York Daily News said that Berard reached agreement with the New York Rangers on a one-year contract for a guaranteed $2 million and will play with Brian Leetch as a defense partner in Friday's season opener at Carolina.
The Rangers agreed to a tryout agreement with the 24-year-old
defenseman on Sept. 22. Berard played in his first preseason
game for the Rangers on Saturday, logging 14 minutes of ice time.
According to the newspaper, the Rangers are putting together a
four-year deal that will allow them the option of picking up the
final three years for $9.75 million after guaranteeing the $2
million to Berard in the first year.
Berard's career came to a crashing halt on March 11, 2000 while
he was playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a game against the
Ottawa Senators when he was struck in the eye by Marian Hossa's
stick as Hossa followed through on a shot. The damage was so
extensive that surgeons pondered removing the eye.
The injury was considered career ending because Berard could not
meet the minimum 20/400 vision standard required by NHL rules.
Berard had seven eye operations since the injury and became an unrestricted free agent when the Leafs did not make him a
qualifying offer in the summer, thinking that Berard wasretired.
Earlier in September, Berard competed at the U.S. Olympic Orientation Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo.