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Former Pro Hockey Star Dies At 42

via Instagram

Former NHL player and coach Konstantin Koltsov died at age 42.

Koltsov spent three seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2003-2006 after being drafted in 1999.

He later played in Russia, serving as head coach for Salavat Yulaev.

The team announced his death, praising his strength and passion for the game.

“It is with deep sorrow that we inform you that the coach of Salavat Yulaev, Konstantin Koltsov, has passed away,” the team said.

“He was a strong and cheerful person, he was loved and respected by players, colleagues, and fans. Konstantin Evgenievich forever wrote himself into the history of our club. May he rest in peace,” they said.

No cause was given.

Koltsov had a 19-year professional career across leagues in Russia, Belarus, and the NHL.

The Penguins expressed condolences for their former player.

“The Penguins extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of former Penguins forward, Konstantin Koltsov,” the team said. “The native of Belarus was the Penguins’ first-round draft choice in 1999 and was with the team from 2003-206, playing 144 NHL games. He was a teammate of both Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux during the 2005-06 season.”

His death adds to several unexpected athlete fatalities in recent months, raising questions about athlete health and safety at elite competitive levels.

Koltsov made headlines in 2021 for his relationship with tennis star Aryna Sabalenka.

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