According to multiple online reports, former Dallas Stars forward Raymond Sawada has passed away from a heart attack at just 38 years old.
Sawada was reportedly playing rec-league hockey just outside of his native Vancouver, BC when he suffered a cardiac episode.
The former 2nd round pick (52nd overall in 2004) played just 11 total NHL games, picking up one goal. He had an extensive career in the AHL and overseas though, retiring from professional hockey in 2016.
His family left the following announcement:
It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we share the devastating news of the sudden passing of Ray Sawada. 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 (9) and Charlotte (6), and his supportive, devoted, and dedicated family and friends.
Ray grew up and lived in the City of Richmond. He was a hard-working firefighter for the City of Burnaby. 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.
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. 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.