Flyers giving Berard chance to continue courageous story

31-year-old Bryan Berard will try to earn a spot on the Flyers' roster next month. (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

When I think of courageous athletes, I think of Adam Taliaferro and Brian Piccolo. I think of Kevin Everett and Lance Armstrong, Jim Abbott and Mario Lemieux. Among others.


I also think of Bryan Berard.


Berard, as you may recall, was accidentally hit by the stick of Ottawa's Marian Hossa in 2000. It was a gruesome scene, with blood staining the ice and Berard being raced to the hospital.


Berard nearly lost his right eye in the accident; he underwent seven eye operations and, to his credit, returned to the NHL _ and gave back his $6.5 million insurance settlement.


Think about that.


And, now, at 31, he will be trying to earn a spot on the Flyers' young defense in training camp next month.


Berard doesn't have the skill he possessed when he was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1995 draft, but no one can question his character.


His presence will add some intrigue to what promises to be an interesting Flyers training camp.


I wrote about Berard in today's Inquirer.