On Tuesday, the hockey world was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Sergei Zholtok. Like many other NHL’ers, Zholtok was keeping in shape overseas, suiting up for Riga in Latvia. It was in a game that this tragedy occurred.
Playing in a game in Belarus, Zholtok felt some discomfort with approximately 5 minutes to go in the 3rd period. He was en route to the medical room, but he never made it. On the way, he collapsed, dying virtually on the spot. Reports say that Zholtok died of a heart problem, likely cardiac arrhythmia.
This past season, he was bothered with some respiratory difficulties on a couple of occasions, the most recent being in March after being dealt to Nashville from Minnesota for their playoff run.
Originally drafted by Boston (55th overall in 2002), Zholtok played 588 career games with 5 teams, including the Montreal Canadiens. In 110 games with the Habs, he recorded 49 points (27-22-49), with 36 PIMS and a -13 rating. Overall, he notched 258 points (111-147-258), with 166 PIMS and a -35 rating. During his years of service in the league, Zholtok was regarded as a reliable offensive player, who always gave his all on the ice, rarely taking a shift off.
The hockey world has been devastated by this sudden tragedy, and the thoughts and prayers of us here at Habsworld.net are with Zholtok’s friends and family.