Former NHLer Zarley Zalapski passed away

14 Dec 2017 | Davide Tuniz
 

Canadian defender had also a long career in Europe

 
 
 
 

Former Canadian player Zarley Zalapski passed away on December 12 at age 49. Zalapski suffered with inflammation of the myocardium for some time but the family has stated the cause of death was complication from a viral infection.

Zalapski, born in Edmonton, had a long career in NHL, playing a total of 637 regular-season appearances, ammassed 99 goals, 285 assists and 384 points, skating for Pittsburgh Penguins, Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers, named to the all-rookie team in 1989 and participated in the NHL All-Star Game in 1993.

After the NHL experience, he spent ten years in Europe, playing in Italy (Merano), Sweden (Bjorkloven), Denmark (Esbjerg Pirates), Germany (München Barons), Austria (HC Innsbruck) and Switzerland (ZSC Lions, Martigny, Visp, Rapperswil-Jona Lakers, Chur, Biel,Olten and Lausanne) which has become his second home (Zalapski had Swiss passport)

He represented Canada at the World Championship 1987 in Vienna, in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and in the 2000 Spengler Cup.

After the retirement in 2010, Zalapski worked as coach mentor for the Calgary Royals minor-hockey association.

“We are proud that Zarley wore the Flames jersey; made Calgary his home following his playing career; represented our alumni executive; and we will always remember him as a member of the Flames family. This is a terrible loss of a man with great character who truly loved the game of hockey. We express our sincere condolences to the Zalapski family.” said Calgary Flames in a statement

Among the several messages of condoleances and memories from former teammates and players, Gord Sherven, Zalapski's teammate at ’'88 Olympics, said: “He was a boy playing like a man.”

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