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Andy “Bubba” Berenzweig

(1977 - )

Berenzweig is currently a defenseman in the Dallas Stars organization and plays with the Utah Grizzlies of the AHL. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Bubba played in 37 career NHL games, all with the Nashville Predators. He was traded from the Predators to the Stars in February, 2003.

A Chicago native, he commented, "I started off [skating] when I was three years old because my older sister was a figure skater. My mom would have to drag me to the rink and finally they decided to put me on the ice. They actually started me out when I was three years old as a figure skater...I really wasn't figure skating. I kinda just sat on the ice...the next year, they put me in hockey gear, and I was happy..."

Berenzweig soon demonstrated talent on the ice. He said, "My mother was actually the one who was really into it. She would take me to the rink early in the morning..." A star in high school, Andy left Chicago to attend the Loomis-Chaffee prep school in Connecticut. While in high school, Bubba received scholarship offers from every college in the country, finally selecting the University of Michigan.

In 1995-96, Berenzweig began his college career at Michigan. After a solid freshman year in which he played in every Wolverine game and helped lead Michigan to the National Championship, Andy was selected by the New York Islanders in the fifth round (109th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. He remained at Michigan, however, for four seasons, and led the Wolverines to another National Championship in 1998. During his senior season, Berenzweig was captain of the Michigan squad, a CCHA All-Star, and a member of the NCAA tournament All-Tournament team.

In the spring of 1999, Andy was traded from the Islanders to the Nashville Predators. In the 1999-2000 season, he played in only two games for Nashville, but had an outstanding campaign in the minors. Competing in 79 games, Berenzweig had 27 points while playing for the Milwaukee Admirals, and won the Ken McKenzie Award as the IHL's outstanding U.S.-born rookie.

During the 2000-01 season, Bubba moved back and forth between Nashville and the Milwaukee Admirals of the IHL; he played in five games for the Predators, but scored no points. However, Berenzweig was very effective for Milwaukee. He was the IHL's defenseman of the month for October, and was named second team IHL All-Star. Andy played in 71 games for the Admirals and finished seventh on the team with 32 points (seven goals and 25 assists).

During the 2001-02 season, Bubba split time between the Predators and the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL (American Hockey League). Nashville finished the season with a record of 28-41-13 (69 points), and in fourth place in the Western Conference's Central Division; Berenzweig set career highs in games played (26), goals (three), assists (seven), total points (10), and penalty minutes (14). Bubba, who finished 15th on the Predators in scoring, also played 23 games for the Milwaukee Admirals and was the team's first AHL All-Star. Midway through the 2002 season, Berenzweig was joined on the Predators by Jewish player Steve Dubinsky, a forward acquired in a trade with Chicago.

Berenzweig began the 2002-03 season with the Admirals, but was recalled to Nashville on November 12. He played in four games for Nashville and had five shots on goal, but no points, and was sent back to Milwaukee on November 19. Bubba played in 48 games for the Admirals and had six goals, 11 assists, and 26 penalty minutes. During the season, Bubba -- who was the Admirals' captain -- was traded from the Predators to the Dallas Stars and assigned to the Utah Grizzlies of the AHL. Following the trade, Bubba played in 26 games for the Grizzlies and registered 17 points (six goals and 11 assists).

Sources: Jews in Sports