Former NHL Player Raymond Sawada Dies of a Heart Attack at 38

Raymond Sawada
Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images

Former Dallas stars winger Raymond Sawada died of a heart attack on Monday at the age of 38, his family announced.

Sawada was playing a recreational hockey game when he suffered the arrest, according to reports.

“It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we share the devastating news of the sudden passing of Ray Sawada,” wrote Brianne Sameshima, who is organizing a GoFundMe for the fallen player.

“At age 38, Ray passed away on the evening of Monday, April 10, 2023, while playing the game he loved.”

Sawada’s former NHL team and former college team both posted statements of condolences at the player’s passing.

“It is with heavy hearts we mourn the passing of former Stars player Raymond Sawada,” the Stars wrote on Twitter. “Our love goes out to his family, friends, and all the people he impacted in hockey and as a firefighter in his community.”

Sawada played his college hockey at Cornell.

“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 retired from professional hockey in 2016 and began working as a firefighter.

Calgary Flames defenseman Troy Stecher took to Twitter to express his sadness at the passing of an “idol.”

“Heart breaking news,” Troy Stecher, fellow Canadian and defenseman for the Calgary Flames, wrote. “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.”

Sawada was a second-round pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. But he only played 11 games before departing for the AHL.

Sawada is survived by his wife, Nicole, and their two daughters, Victoria, 9, and Charlotte, 6.


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