Perry Berezan

You probably don't realize this, but Perry Berezan scored one of the most famous goals in hockey history.

Okay, so he actually didn't score it. But he got credit with it. In one of the most famous playoffs gaffes of all time, Edmonton Oiler defenseman Steve Smith accidentally banked the puck into his own net, eliminating the dynastic Oilers from the 1986 playoffs. Berezan, an Edmonton native, was the last Flame to touch the puck as he dumped the puck in for a line change!

Those 1986 playoffs were a definite highlight in Berezan's career in Calgary, which began in late 1985 after graduating from the University of North Dakota. The Flames went on to take on the Montreal Canadiens in the Cup finals, only to lose to Patrick Roy's Canadiens.

The Flames returned to the Cup finals in 1989 and won the entire thing that year, but just weeks earlier traded Berezan away to the Minnesota North Stars for big left winger Brian MacLellan.

Berezan's time in Minnesota could best be described as frustrating, as he was battered with several injuries. In 1991 the Stars took a Cinderella run to the finals against Mario Lemieux's Penguins. Berezan got to play in just 1 of those post season games.

The expansion San Jose Sharks came along in the fall of 1991 and selected Berezan to play on their inaugural squad. He had a relatively healthy season and fully enjoyed that first season despite many losses.

"That first year (1991-1992) was one of the best times in my hockey career," says Berezan. "My teammates were definitely the best group of guys I've ever played with."

"I was very proud to be a part of the Sharks first year," says Berezan. "There was so much excitement in Northern California with a new team; it was a special feeling to be a part of history."

He equaled his career best with 12 goals that season as well.

The injury plagued center was once a promising player in Calgary. In addition to injuries, Calgary's great depth really hindered Berezan from developing. He was a tireless skater blessed with great speed and agility. He was a good playmaker and anticipated well. He had good size though never really improved his upper body strength, which would have helped to prevent many of his injuries.

Retiring after the 1992-93 season, Berezan returned to the University of North Dakota to finish his business degree. He currently works as an investment advisor for Nesbitt-Burns in Calgary.

"The transition from hockey to the business world wasn't as hard as I thought. The biggest thing I miss is the bigger paychecks," jokes Berezan.

Also the Vice President of the Calgary Flames Alumni Group which holds one event each month for former Flames players, Berezan skates at least twice a month "just trying to avoid injuries!"


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