Sidney Crosby, Penguins mourn death of former NHL player Konstantin Koltsov

The Pittsburgh Penguins are mourning the loss of their former player, Konstantin Koltsov, who died at the age of 42.

“The Penguins extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of former Penguins forward, Konstantin Koltsov,” the team said in a statement Tuesday morning.

Koltsov, who was dating tennis star Aryna Sabalenka, a fellow Belarusian, died in an “apparent suicide” after jumping off a hotel balcony, Miami-Dade police told CNN.

A first-round pick by the Penguins in 1999, Koltsov made his NHL debut against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Jan. 28, 2003.

Former Penguins forward Konstantin Koltsov has died at the age of 42. Getty Images

Konstantin Koltsov (r.) checks the Rangers’ Karel Rachunek during a game at MSG on March 23, 2004. JEFF ZELEVANSKY

Known for his blazing speed, the winger became a full-timer in the Penguins’ lineup during the 2003-04 season, scoring nine goals and 20 assists while playing all 82 games.

When the NHL returned from the 2004-05 lockout, Koltsov played on the 2005-06 Penguins team that featured a rookie Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux in his final NHL season.

The latest on the death of tennis player Aryna Sabalenka’s boyfriend, Konstantin Koltsov:

“He could fly. He was a powerful skater, a really strong guy and a great guy to be around,” Crosby said of Koltsov on Tuesday, according to “That first year, we didn’t have the best team but we had a great group and he was part of that. Obviously condolences go to his family … sad news.”

Koltsov had three goals and six assists in 60 games that season before he joined Russian club Salavat Yulaev, where he played for six seasons and later became an assistant coach.

Konstantin Koltsov was the boyfriend of tennis star Aryna Sabalenka. Aryna Sabalenka / Instagram

Konstantin Koltsov and Aryna Sabalenka had been dating for about three years. Aryna Sabalenka / Instagram

Ex-NHL defenseman and “Spittin’ Chiclets” host Ryan Whitney was a rookie on that 2005-06 Penguins team and spent time with Koltsov on the Penguins’ AHL team.

“This is horrible news,” Whitney wrote on X after Salavat Yulaev confirmed Koltsov’s death. “Played with Koltsy for a couple years in Wilkes Barre and Pittsburgh. One of the fastest skaters I’ve ever seen and so funny. Especially with his accent and words he would use to chirp me. This is terrible. Thinking of his family at this awful time.”

Konstantin Koltsov celebrates a goal while playing for Belarus during the 2009 IIHF world championship. AFP via Getty Images

Koltsov retired in 2016 after playing one season for Dinamo Minsk.

He represented Belarus internationally, including at the 2002 and 2010 Olympics. He scored 21 goals with 10 assists in 67 games international matches.

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