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Latvian star Astashenko dead at 37

Friday, 11.23.2012 / 3:48 PM / News

By NHL.com Staff

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Latvian star Astashenko dead at 37

The Latvian Hockey Federation announced Friday that Kaspars Astashenko died. He was 37.

The defenseman played 23 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning between 1999 and 2001, scoring one goal and two assists.

At the international level, Astashenko scored one goal and three assists in 13 games for the Latvian national team. He skated for his country at many international events, among them the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City and the 2006 IIHF World Championships in his hometown of Riga, Latvia.

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I have been blessed to play for 16 years in the NHL; it has been an amazing ride. I would like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers organizations and owners for providing me the opportunity to play the sport I love for so many years. I could have never played for so long or accomplished all that I have without the unwavering love and support from my wife, Heather, our three sons, Ryan, Lucas, and Mason, and my parents.

— Martin St. Louis after announcing his retirement from the NHL on Thursday