Former St. Louis Blue Peter Zezel Passes Away at Age 44

Alex BauschContributor IJune 2, 2009

13 Mar 1999: Peter Zezel #22 of the Vancover Canucks skates on the ice during the game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. The Kings defeated the Canucks 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kellie Landis  /Allsport

Former St. Louis Blue Peter Zezel died Tuesday afternoon in Toronto following complications from a long-time blood disorder. Mr. Zezel was 44.

Mr. Zezel had a 15-year NHL career, including two stints with the Blues (1988-90, 1995-97). He scored 25 goals and had 72 points for the Blues in ‘89-90 and finished with 54 goals and 105 assists during his career in St. Louis. Mr. Zezel played with seven teams in the NHL and retired from the league following the ‘98-99 season.

Kelly Chase, a former roommate and teammate of Mr. Zezel:

“It’s just awful. Obviously the last time we saw ‘Zez’ (when he attended the Brett Hull jersey retirement), you realized that something was wrong, but he thought he had a hold of it. Wendel (Clark) saw him a few weeks ago and (Zezel) said he wasn’t feeling well, but he had his arms around it again and he was going to be fine. I guess he was going to have his spleen removed, but then all of the sudden there were some complications. I don’t know all of it. It’s just unbelievable when this happens...guys you played with.

“The guy was a mountain. He had legs on him like tree trunks. They had bark on them. He was always a strong, strong guy. It just shows you how quickly things can go south on you. It doesn’t matter how strong you were as an athlete, or how you think you can beat anything because you were tough as a player. Quickly, that changes. Reality is that it gets you in a hurry. In Zezel’s case, it’s just brutal.” 

John Davidson:

“Words simply cannot express the deep sadness felt by the entire St. Louis Blues organization today. Peter was one of the more popular players to wear the Bluenote and his contagious smile will truly be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”