Tom Kurvers Passes Away at Age 58

The longtime staple of Minnesota hockey passed away from a battle with lung cancer.
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After a lengthy battle with adenocarcinoma, a type of small-cell lung cancer, Tom Kurvers passed away at the age of 58, the University of Minnesota-Duluth announced on Monday. 

He leaves behind his loving wife, Heather and their four children. 

Kurvers, who was born in Minneapolis, was a staple of Minnesota hockey for decades. 

Selected 145th overall pick at the 1981 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens, Kurvers proceeded to spend the entire four years of his collegiate career at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, during which he excelled as an offensively-minded defenceman and won the 1984 Hobey Baker Award, given to the top player in collegiate hockey, for his efforts after racking up an eye-popping 76 points in just 43 games as a senior. 

Kurvers cemented his icon status at the University of Minnesota-Duluth by returning in 1991 to be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. And, in 2018, the Minnesotan made his way back to the State of Hockey by joining the Minnesota Wild as Assistant General Manager, a role which he served until his untimely passing.

A collegiate legend, Kurvers put together an impressive professional career, as well. 

Making his NHL debut with the Canadiens in 1984-85, Kurvers would go on to spend the following two seasons patrolling the Habs' blueline, capturing the 1986 Stanley Cup in the process, before eventually being traded to the Buffalo Sabres one game into the 1986-87 campaign. 

From there, Kurvers bounced around the league as a hired gun until his retirement in 1995, registering stints with the New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs (famously being traded for the draft pick used to select Scott Niedermayer), Vancouver Canucks, New York Islanders, and Anaheim Mighty Ducks. 

He would finish his NHL career with 93 goals and 328 assists for 421 points in 659 games. 

Kurvers' impact was not solely contained to the ice, however. Shortly following his diagnosis in January of 2019, Kurvers and his family ran in the A Breath of Hope Lung Run/Walk Twin Cities 10K held at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. 

The event, which took place on August 10th, 2019, was hosted by the A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation to "raise awareness, provide patient and family support and fund innovative lung cancer research", and ultimately succeeded in their efforts by raising over $100,000 for their various important causes. 

Despite being just eight months into his courageous battle with this horrific disease, Kurvers took part and finished the race. The strength he displayed in doing so is indescribable. 

The hockey world, and the world at large, will miss him dearly. 

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