United States Army Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Michael A. Cathcart, who skated with the Carolina Hurricanes last season during a practice at Fort Bragg, N.C., died Friday following injuries sustained during combat operations Friday in Kunsuz Province, Afghanistan.
"We are deeply saddened to hear that we've lost Sgt. Cathcart," Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis told the Hurricanes website. "The day that Mike practiced with our team at Cleland Ice Rink at Fort Bragg was a very special day for our players.
"People throw around the word 'hero' too easily sometimes, but Mike Cathcart was a true hero. He proudly served our country and died protecting our safety and freedom. We are grateful for that day we were able to spend with him and the impact he left on our team. On behalf of the Hurricanes organization, I send heartfelt condolences to his family and his unit."