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Former NHL Player Raymond Sawada, 38, Dies During Rec League Game

Former Stars wing Raymond Sawada died at 38 years old Monday while playing a game of hockey, his family announced via a GoFundMe page created to honor his memory and help his family. He is survived by his wife, Nicole, and their daughters, Victoria, 9, and Charlotte, 6.

“It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we share the devastating news of the sudden passing of Ray Sawada,” the GoFundMe page read. “At age 38, Ray passed away on the evening of Monday April 10, 2023, while playing the game he loved.”

The family did not share the cause of death. However, according to Richmond News, Sawada suffered cardiac failure Monday night at a recreational league game that he enjoyed playing in. The city of Richmond in British Columbia confirmed to the publication that a medical emergency occurred that night at one of its rinks. 

Sawada appeared in 11 games for the Stars from 2008 to ’11, scoring one goal. He played in 287 games in the American Hockey League and then retired in 2016. He returned home to Richmond to become a firefighter. 

“Ray was such a bright light in the lives he touched,” the GoFundMePage read. “He enjoyed traveling with Nicole, the girls, and family and friends. He was a talented hockey player and a dedicated coach for his girls. Ray was passionately driven and motivated in everything he did, and the surrounding community will be left with a void.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, the fund has reached $232,055 Canadian dollars from more than 1,000 donations.