Former San Jose Sharks forward Tom Cavanagh dies at age 28

Sad news out of Providence, Rhode Island today: former San Jose Sharks draft pick and minor league player Tom Cavanagh was found dead inside a mall parking garage. The Providence Journal reports that the forward died due to “multiple traumatic injuries due to blunt force trauma.” He was 28 years old.

Sharks general manager said that Cavanagh was “an extraordinary young man and a fantastic teammate” who spent four years in the team’s system. During his brief time at the NHL level with San Jose, Cavanagh earned one assist in one game in the 2007-08 season and played 17 more in 08-09, scoring one goal and one assist in that span.

Cavanagh was apparently dealing with a shoulder injury and pondering a possible career change around this time. His father said that he “bravely fought the demons of mental illness for years” and that his private struggle outweighed his on-ice accomplishments.

It’s a sad story, no doubt. Our thoughts go out to the Cavanagh family on what must be a very difficult week.

(Photo via the San Jose Sharks official Web site.)

Report: Sean Avery was arrested last week

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From the Southampton Press:

Sean Avery, the former National Hockey League player, was arrested by Southampton Village Police last week on two criminal charges.

According to authorities, Mr. Avery was arrested September 30 following a routine traffic stop on Jennings Avenue in the village at about 4:09 p.m. He was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and two counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all misdemeanors.

Police said the criminal mischief charge involved an incident the day before, when Mr. Avery allegedly threw objects at passing vehicles.

As for those counts of possession, according to the newspaper, Avery was found to have “two prescription drugs, acetaminophen with oxycodone and roxicodone.”

He was released on $500 bail and ordered to appear in court at a later date.

Did we mention he’s supposed to get married this weekend?

H/t Gawker

Devils send ’15 first-rounder Zacha back to junior

2015 NHL Draft - Round One

Pavel Zacha was this close to making his NHL debut.

Just days prior to opening their season against the Jets, the Devils returned Zacha — the sixth overall pick at this year’s draft — back to his junior club in OHL Sarnia.

The move comes after Zacha, 18, impressed throughout training camp and the preseason. He appeared in four exhibition games for New Jersey, scoring one point while endearing himself to the organizational brass, coaching staff and players.

“He understands the game. He plays with a maturity. It’s crazy to think an 18-year-old coming out of high school is up here and playing with the maturity and understanding of the game with the new system,” Kyle Palmieri told “I think he’s got a lot of raw talent there as a power forward. He’s got the body for it, the puck-handling skills and the nose for the net.”

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Zacha has the frame and physical stature to play at the NHL level, and looked the part for long stretches of the exhibition season, getting turns on New Jersey’s top line.

The decision to send him back to junior is probably the right one, however.

Zacha only turned 18 in April and has limited experience even at the OHL level; ’14-15 was his first year with Sarnia, though he did appear in 38 Czech League games (for Liberec) the season prior.