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Hockeyville Canada

Former NHL players spread word about heart disease

Shoot PSA with widow of youth coach whose death inspired town's Kraft Hockeyville 2016 bid

by Kevin Woodley / NHL.com Correspondent

Rhonda Catt wants to ensure that her late husband is remembered long after Kraft Hockeyville 2016 leaves Lumby, British Columbia, by helping others avoid the grief she experienced.

Peter Catt had a fatal heart attack on Nov. 3 at the age of 46. The death of the beloved husband, father and youth hockey coach inspired Lumby to enter to be the host for Kraft Hockeyville 2016, which is this weekend. The main event is a preseason game between the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers on Sunday (9 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN).

Rhonda Catt has been a fitness trainer for 20 years, and her clients include former NHL players Eric Godard, Aaron Volpatti and Chris Osgood. She worked with them in the offseason to create something that would push others to make sure they don't ignore signs of heart disease. Rhonda started a website called petersstory.ca, which includes an awareness video featuring Osgood, Volpatti and others.

"It's so incredibly horrible this happened because in my career I should have known better and it never should have happened," Rhonda said about her husband, who said he was experiencing heartburn the day before his fatal heart attack. "So if we can get the message out that heart attacks are not just something to worry about in your 80s, that we need to stop pretending we're indestructible and see a doctor when the signs are there, that is the No.1 goal."

Cole Young, who grew up playing with Peter Catt and coached minor hockey with him, said the impact of that message already is being felt in Lumby.

"Everyone who knew Peter has been to the doctor and pays attention to the signs now; we've seen the impact of not doing it," Young said. "Rhonda's mission after we won Hockeyville was to try and save another dad's life."

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