Tragic Loss: Konstantin Koltsov, Esteemed Former NHL Star and Partner of Tennis Pro Aryna Sabalenka, Passes Away at 42

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.19 - 2024 11:02 AM CET

Photo: Instagram
Photo: Instagram
The 42-year-old NHL star and partner to one of the world's top tennis players, Aryna Sabalenka, has suddenly passed away.

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In a sorrowful announcement, Konstantin Koltsov, the celebrated Belarusian former professional NHL player and beloved partner of tennis sensation Aryna Sabalenka, has died at the age of 42.

The news was confirmed by the Russian hockey club Salavat Yulaev in a heartfelt statement on Tuesday.

Koltsov, whose career on the ice was marked by remarkable speed and agility, represented the Belarus national team in the 2002 and 2010 Olympics, leaving an indelible mark on the sport.

He also graced the National Hockey League (NHL) with his presence, playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins over three seasons between 2002 and 2006, where he became known for his dynamic play.

Salavat Yulaev, the club based in Ufa, Russia, where Koltsov had recently served as an assistant coach, expressed their profound loss in the statement:

"It is with deep sorrow that we inform you that Konstantin Koltsov, coach of Salavat Yulaev, has passed away. He was a strong and cheerful person, loved and respected by players, colleagues, and fans alike. Konstantin Evgenievich forever wrote himself into the history of our club. May he rest in peace."

Koltsov's legacy includes a Russian Super League title victory with Salavat Yulaev in 2008.

Beyond his professional achievements, Koltsov was also known for his relationship with Aryna Sabalenka, the world number two tennis player. The couple, first linked in June 2021 according to People magazine, shared many moments of their life together with fans through social media, showcasing their deep bond and mutual support.

Sabalenka, mourning the loss of her partner, shared a touching tribute on her Instagram account, expressing her love and admiration for Koltsov:

"I love you Koltsov. You are my dearest person, my best friend, and my strongest support. Peace be with you, strength, patience, and health. I hope we will have everything we planned. I love you."

His legacy as an athlete who played with heart and as a person who lived with joy and love will forever be cherished.