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.