On Monday 10 April, his family disclosed in a GoFundMe campaign that Raymond Sawada a former NHL player had dἰed of a heart attack at the age of 38.
Multiple sources have confirmed that the Canadian winger, who spent the 2008–09 season with the Dallas Stars, suffered a medical problem while playing for the Richmond Cowboys in a pickup hockey game.
“It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we share the devastating news of the sudden passing of Ray Sawada,” Brianne Sameshima, the organizer of the fundraiser wrote.
On the evening of April 10, 2023, at the age of 38, Ray went suddenly while engaged in his favorite pastime.
Junior B team president Doug Patterson informed Global News that Sawada was out of town celebrating his oldest daughter’s birthday before he dressed up for the game.
Sawada, who was chosen at number 52 in the second round of the 2004 NHL draft, played in a total of 11 games, scoring once, before moving his skills to the American Hockey League.
In a statement, the Stars expressed their “heavy hearts” on the loss of their former star, Raymond Sawada. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones and the many lives he touched as a hockey player and firefighter.
He spent four years (2004–2008) as a Cornell Big Red player.
“We are devastated to learn of the passing of former Big Red captain Raymond Sawada ‘08,” Cornell’s hockey team wrote on Twitter. “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 joined the Burnaby Fire Department after retiring from professional hockey in 2016. Hockey players and fans from all across the world have been posting messages of sympathy and tribute online.
“Heart breaking news,” Troy Stecher, fellow Canadian and defenseman for the Calgary Flames, wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Check out the tweet provided below:
Heart breaking 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.https://t.co/T0VIyroTVY
— Troy Stecher (@troystecher) April 12, 2023
Ray was a respected firefighter and a respected member of the hockey community. Sending my condolences to his loved ones.
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Nicole, his wife, and their children Victoria and Charlotte survive him. All those he met were better off because of Ray, the fundraising note said. He loved taking trips with Nicole, the girls and his loved ones.
He was an excellent hockey player and a devoted mentor to his young female players. There will be a huge hole in the neighborhood now that Ray has passed away since he was so driven and inspired by his passions.
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