Former NHL player Raymond Sawada has passed away at the age of 38 after suffering a heart attack ‘while playing the game he loved’.
His family announced the tragic news via a GoFundMe fundraiser on Tuesday. Sawada played with the Dallas Stars during the 2008-09 season.
‘It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we share the devastating news of the sudden passing of Ray Sawada,’ the statement on the page read.
‘At age 38, Ray passed away on the evening of Monday April 10, 2023, while playing the game he loved.
‘He leaves behind his loving wife, Nicole, his two young and incredibly amazing daughters, Victoria, nine, and Charlotte, six, and his supportive, devoted, and dedicated family and friends.’
Former NHL player Raymond Sawada has passed away at the age of 38. He leaves behind his wife, Nicole, and his two young and daughters, Victoria, nine, and Charlotte, six
Sawada’s family announced the tragic news via a GoFundMe fundraiser on Tuesday
Sawada joined Burnaby Fire in 2017. Seen in uniform with NBA Championship trophy in 2019
Tributes from the world of hockey poured with his former team the Stars posting on Twitter: ‘It is with heavy hearts we mourn the passing of former Stars player, Raymond Sawada.
‘Our love goes out to his family, friends, and all the people he impacted in hockey and as a firefighter in his community.’
Sawada, from Richmond, British Colombia, Canada worked as a firefighter in Burnaby city.
Calgary Flames player Troy Stecher said on social media: ‘Heartbreaking news. Ray was an idol for a lot of Richmond Minor Players growing up.
‘Not only was Ray a successful hockey player, he was a community hero and local firefighter. Thoughts and prayers to his family.’
The family statement continued: ‘He joined Burnaby Fire in 2017 and has been an integral part of the department where he served with distinction and honor.
‘Ray was such a bright light in the lives he touched. 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.’
Tributes from the world of hockey poured in for husband and father-of-two after tragic news
Cornell men’s hockey team paid their respects on Wednesday: ‘We are devastated to learn of the passing of former Big Red captain Raymond Sawada ‘08.
‘Our deepest condolences go out to Ray’s wife Nicole and their two children, his teammates, coaches, and all of the many people who Ray positively impacted in his life.’
Sawada played 11 games in the NHL after playing in the American Hockey League for majority of his career, making 287 appearances.
‘For the girls and Nicole, losing their dad and husband is going to leave a sad mark on their hearts and make for a long road ahead,’ the family statement added.
‘From the family, we are truly grateful for the love and support that we have already received. We appreciate every single message and act of kindness. We feel the love. It gives us reassurance that throughout this sad and difficult time, there are so many who love and care for the family.
‘If you wish to support Nicole as she grieves during this time, while she takes unpaid time off work, to a brighter future for Nicole and the girls. We thank you in advance and feel so fortunate for the love and kindness that people have shared since his passing.
‘We will honor his life with memories of joy and love and make sure that his bright light continues.’