Former Avalanche forward Marek Svatos passes away at age 34

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Marek Svatos, a forward in the NHL for eight seasons between 2003 and 2011, passed away on Saturday at the age of 34.

There is no word at this time on the cause of death. According to Terri Frei of the Denver Post, Svatos had been living in a suburb of Denver. He is survived by his wife, Diana, and two children.

Svatos spent the bulk of his career with the Colorado Avalanche after being selected by the team in the seventh round of the 2001 NHL draft. He appeared in more than 300 games with the team and scored 97 goals for them, including a career high 32 during the 2005-06 season (in only 61 games). He also spent the 2010-11 season split between the Nashville Predators and Ottawa Senators.

Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic, a teammate of Svatos from 2003-04 to 2008-09, released the following statement on Sunday:

“The entire Avalanche organization is extremely saddened by this news. Marek was a tremendous person, a talented hockey player and a great teammate. Our thoughts, prayers and our deepest sympathy to his wife, children and his entire family.”

Along with an NHL career, Svatos was also a member of the Slovakia national team and represented them at the 2006 Olympics.

Following his time in the NHL he played professionally in the KHL, and most recently, in Slovakia during the 2013-14 season.