The Colorado Avalanche family was is in mourning on Sunday after learning that former forward Marek Svatos had passed away at the age of 34.
Svatos played parts of six seasons with Colorado from 2003 to 2010 and ranks 37th in franchise scoring with 164 points (96 goals and 68 assists) in 316 games. He appeared in 14 contests with the Avs during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, recording seven points (two goals and five assists).
"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," said Avs executive vice president/general manager Joe Sakic, who played with Svatos, in a statement released by the team Sunday morning.
Prior to Colorado's contest on Sunday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, the Blues organization held a moment of silence in honor of Svatos.
A seventh-round selection (227th overall) by the Avalanche in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Svatos played two seasons of junior hockey in the Western Hockey League with the Kootenay Ice (2000-2002) before beginning his pro career in 2002-03 with Colorado's American Hockey League affiliate at the time, the Hershey Bears.
A native of Kosice, Slovakia, Svatos broke out in a big way during his first full NHL season in 2004-05, registering 32 goals and 50 points in 61 games. However, he struggled with injuries throughout his playing career and never appeared in more than 69 contests in a campaign--a feat he accomplished in his final year with the Avalanche in 2009-10.
Matt Duchene, who was a rookie at the time, was Svatos' teammate during that season.
Svatos also had brief stints with the Nashville Predators and the Ottawa Senators in 2010-11 and spent two years in the KHL before closing out his career with his hometown Kosice HC in Slovak Extraliga in 2013-14.
Throughout his professional career, Svatos made Colorado his offseason home and had been living in the Denver suburb of Lone Tree following his retirement from the game. He is survived by his wife and two children.