Kukla's Korner

Two recreational hockey players die on same night, at same rink

As if I didn’t feel sore enough already after my beer-league game last night, this sobering news from San Jose (hat tip to AOL’s NHL FanHouse) got my attention. Two adult recreational players died Sunday night in separate incidents during their games at Sharks Ice.

Brian Kobata, 38. and Kelly Calabro (memorial at team’s website), 41, both collapsed on the ice just a few hours apart and rescue attempts failed to revive them.  From the San Jose Mercury News:

“It’s a very unfortunate and tragic situation,” said Ken Arnold, senior director of communications for Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment, which operates the facility at Tenth Street and East Alma Avenue.

Sharks Ice, which is the official practice rink for the San Jose Sharks, is home to the largest adult hockey league in the nation, with 3,000 registered players. However, the strenuous sport can be hard on older players. Arnold said ambulances are called to the rink about once every 18 months.

The cause of death has not been determined for either man, family members said.

Heidi Kobata was at the rink watching her husband skate off the ice on Sunday night when he suddenly fell. She is expecting the couple’s first child in June and said her husband had not had any health problems

As a 38 year-old beer leaguer whose best playing days were 10 years and 40 pounds ago, this story just hit home with me this morning.

Filed in: NHL Commentary, | On the Forecheck | Permalink


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