This article originally appeared on VICE Sports Canada.
One month after the tragic and sudden passing of former NHLer Marek Svatos, the Douglas County Coroner's Office has concluded that he died of a drug overdose.
Svatos was found dead at his home in Lone Tree, Colorado, on Nov. 6, and had codeine, morphine and the anti-anxiety medication Xanax in his system at the time of his death, the coroner's office said. Blood panels revealed traces of all three substances, while drug paraphernalia was also found at the scene.
Svatos, who died at the age of 34, had a history of heroin use and had gone through drug rehabilitation in the past, the coroner's report said. He also had suspected depression, prior suicidal thoughts, and "recent life stressors," according to the report.
The Kosice, Slovakia, native was drafted in the seventh round of the 2001 draft by Colorado, and had an exceptional rookie season when he finally cracked the Avs lineup in 2005-06. Svatos scored 32 goals and put up 50 points while contending for the Calder Trophy, finishing fifth in voting. He scored 96 goals for the Avalanche over several injury-plagued campaigns from 2003-10.
He last played in the NHL in 2010-11, suiting up in 26 games for Nashville and Ottawa, before finishing his career with his hometown team Kosice HC in Slovakia. Svatos finished his NHL career with 172 points in 344 games over parts of seven seasons.
Upon news of Svatos' death last month, Colorado Avalanche executive vice president and general manager Joe Sakic, who was a teammate of Svatos' for seven seasons in Colorado, released a statement on behalf of the club.
"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," Sakic said.
Svatos is survived by his wife and two children.