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Former Stars' Forward Zezel Succumbs to Rare Blood Disease at Age 44

After an eight year fight with hemolytic anemia, Peter Zezel passed away Tuesday at Toronto General Hospital. He was 44.

Glenn Healy, NHLPA Director of Player Affairs issued the following statement on behalf of the NHLPA: "The hockey community has suffered a great loss today. Peter was a friend and a great family man who was well liked by everyone he crossed paths with in our game. Our thoughts are with Peter’s family and many friends during this difficult time."

Zezel played the lockout-shortened 1995 season in Dallas, appearing in 30 games, scoring six goals, and putting up 11 points total. He scored one playoff goal in Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against Detroit.

Originally, he was a second round draft choice of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1983 and played for a total of seven teams over the course of 15 seasons.

After retirement, Zezel operated hockey camps in Etobicoke, Ontario.

His family also released a statement through the NHLPA, according to CTV:

"Peter will forever be remembered as a great teammate and a wonderful individual, who touched the lives of many both on and off the ice," his family said.

"In his typical character of generosity, Peter has donated his organs through the Trillium Gift of Life Network. We would like to thank all of Peter's friends and family for their support and we ask for privacy during this difficult time."