Former Colorado Avalanche forward Marek Svatos, who also appeared in games for the Nashville Predators and Ottawa Senators, has died at the age of 34.
The International Ice Hockey Federation announced the death of Svatos in a tweet from its official account Sunday morning. Svatos reportedly died Saturday in Lone Tree, Colo.
The Colorado Avalanche also issued a statement acknowledging the Slovakian-born player's passing on Sunday.
"The entire Avalanche organization is extremely saddened by this news," Avalanche executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic said in the statement. "Marek was a tremendous person, a talented hockey player and a great teammate. Our thoughts, prayers and our deepest sympathy to his wife, children and his entire family."
Sakic was just one of many players mourning the death of their former teammate Sunday. Current Avs player Matt Duchene, who was a rookie during Svatos's last season in Colorado, remembered him on Twitter as "great person and player."
Very saddened to hear of the passing of former @Avalanche teammate, Marek Svatos. He was a great person and player.— Matt Duchene (@Matt9Duchene) November 6, 2016
I'm absolutely devastated to learn of the passing of Marek Svatos our thoughts and prayers to his family. Rest in peace— Darcy Tucker (@16DarcyTucker) November 6, 2016
Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Marek Svatos. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. He will be missed— Wojtek Wolski (@WojtekWolski86) November 6, 2016
Svatos was drafted by the Avalanche in 2001 and joined the team on a full-time basis in 2005. He scored a career-high 32 goals in his rookie year, but injuries took their toll and he never reached that goal total again in four more abbreviated seasons with the Avalanche.
Svatos left North America for the Kontinental Hockey League after the 2009-10 season, but returned to the NHL the following year. He played nine games for the Nashville Predators that season before he was claimed off waivers by the Ottawa Senators. Svatos appeared in 19 games with Ottawa before a hit by the Toronto Maple Leafs' Jay Rosehill left him with a career-ending concussion.
He attempted to resume his career in Slovakia and even tried out for the Florida Panthers in 2013, but he ultimately retired a year later.
Svatos won a Memorial Cup with the Kootenay Ice in 2002, skated in 344 regular season NHL games and appeared in the 2006 Winter Games in Turin as a member of Team Slovakia.
He is survived by his wife and two children.