I was alerted to this by Jen (@NHLHistoryGirl) that it was seven years ago today that former Minnesota Wild player Sergei Zholtok died in Darby Hendrickson's arms in the dressing room of the arena where HC Riga, the team they played for, was playing a game.
(photo courtesy of The Third String Goalie)
For me Zholtok was one of my favorite players ever in a Minnesota Wild sweater; I thought he had great hands, and there wasn't any doubt about his importance to the team in their magical Conference Final playoff run in 2003, which still serves as the high water mark for the franchise.
It was sad to hear of his death (it broke on KFAN radio, ironically as Paul Allen and Jeff Dubay were talking to former Wild play by play guy Mike Goldberg) because of who he was to me as a fan, but also as a person because of all of the loved ones he left behind in tragic fashion.
I thought it was fitting to honor him and his memory with this post. Let's win tonight against Vancouver for Sergei Zholtok, eh boys?