Slovak winger Marek Svatoš, a former standout winger with the Colorado Avalanche, was today reported dead at the age of 34 in Lone Tree, Colorado, with details still emerging regarding the circumstances of this tragedy.
Svatoš began his professional career with his hometown team HC Košice of the Slovak League, being drafted late in the 2001 draft by Colorado, joining the Avalanche full-time following the 2004-05 lockout. He finished third in Calder Trophy voting (behind none other than Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin) in 2005, but a shoulder injury in 2006 seriously hampered his production in following seasons. He would spend five full seasons in Colorado before signing with Omsk of the KHL, spending 19 games there before splitting the remainder of the 2010-11 season in Nashville in Ottawa. After missing a full season due to injury, Svatoš returned to Slovakia, playing a number of games with Slovan Bratislava of the KHL, before spending his final season again with Košice in 2012-13.
Svatoš’ great 2005-06 season resulted in his being named to the 2006 Olympic roster for Slovakia, starting in all six games in leading Slovakia to the quarterfinals. Svatoš would play once more for the senior team, at the 2010 World Championships in Germany.
Svatoš would hold the IHLC once in his career, as part of Slovakia’s five game winning streak that started and ended at the 2006 Turin Games. Our condolences go out to the Svatoš family, and the hockey world at large, in mourning this tragic loss of a young man, husband and father taken too soon.