Former Calgary Flames forward Sasha Lakovic passes away: former teammate

A file photo of Sasha Lakovic. Global News

Former NHL tough guy Sasha Lakovic has died, according to his former Calgary Flames’ teammate Theoren Fleury.

Fleury told Global News he was given the news on Tuesday by a friend of Lakovic’s. Lakovic’s brother later also confirmed to Global News that his brother passed away Tuesday morning.

In October, Lakovic spoke to Global News about being told he had terminal brain cancer and that he only had months to live.

READ MORE: Former NHL player Sasha Lakovic diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer

Watch below: In October 2016, Jay Janower filed this report about former NHL player Sasha Lakovic fighting for his life after being given three months to live after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

Click to play video: 'Sasha Lakovic fighting for his life after cancer diagnosis'
Sasha Lakovic fighting for his life after cancer diagnosis

Lakovic, 45, was living in East Vancouver at the time. He said he was going to fight the cancer for his family.

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“One day at a time… take every day like it is a blessing, then that’s it. It’s gone,” Lakovic said in October.

Often referred to by his nickname,”Pit Bull,” the forward played a total of 37 NHL games between 1996 and 1999, split between the Flames and New Jersey Devils.

Lakovic also spent years playing minor hockey before and after his brief NHL career.

Fleury played with Lakovic during his time in Calgary and spoke to News Talk 770 after learning of his former teammate’s death on Tuesday.

“It’s a sad day,” Fleury said to News Talk 770. “He’s still a young man so I really feel for his family and people that are close to him.

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Known for his gritty play, Lakovic’s most memorable NHL moment came during a 1996 game between the Flames and Edmonton Oilers, when he famously dove over the glass after a fan poured his drink on assistant coach Guy Lapointe’s head.

“I think I was close to him on the bench actually,” Fleury recalled on Tuesday. “It didn’t take him long to leap up there and deal with the guy.

“Really good team guy – he’d do anything for anybody.”

Others in the hockey world took to social media to react to Lakovic’s passing.

“R.I.P. Sasha Lakovic. Condolences to his family,” tweeted Edmonton Oilers’ forward Milan Lucic.

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“I had a good life,” Lakovic said through tears when he spoke to Global News in October, “I had a great life.

“I’ll fight to the end, that’s for sure.”

A file photo of Sasha Lakovic. Global News

– With files from Jill Slattery

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