Raymond Sawada, a former second-round pick in the NHL draft, died Monday at the age of 38.
The former Dallas Star suffered a heart attack while playing in a recreational hockey league in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, just outside of Vancouver, resulting in his «devastating» and «sudden» death.
Sawada had been a part of the Richmond Fire Department since 2017 «where he served with distinction and honor,» his family said. in a GoFundMe.
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«Ray was such a bright light in the lives he touched. He enjoyed traveling with Nicole, the girls, family and friends. He was a talented hockey player and dedicated coach to his girls. Ray was driven and passionate about everything he did. did, and the surrounding community will be left with a void,» the page says.
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“For the girls and Nicole, losing their dad and husband will leave a sad mark on their hearts and a long road ahead. On behalf of the family, we are very grateful for the love and support we have already received. We appreciate every message and act of kindness. We feel the love. It reassures us that during this sad and difficult time, there are so many who love and care for the family.»
Sawada attended Cornell University and was drafted by the Stars in 2004 with the 52nd pick that year – appearing in 11 total NHL games and 287 in the American Hockey League.
global news said that Sawada was celebrating his daughter’s birthday before the game.
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GoFundMe also notes that his widow, Nicole, will be taking time off work without pay. The fundraiser has raised over $228,000 CAD after an original goal of $50,000.