Rangers' Lyashenko found dead

New York Rangers forward Roman Lyashenko was found dead in a Turkey hotel room Sunday morning.

The cause of death for the 24-year old, who was on vacation, wasn't currently known. However, Turkey's Anatolia news agency reported it was a suicide.

"The New York Rangers organization is shocked and deeply saddened by the passing of Roman Lyashenko," said general manager and head coach Glen Sather.

"Roman was a quality individual who had a positive impact on everyone he touched, both on and off the ice. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time."

Yuri Koritskiy, a Russian consular official, said Lyashenko had been with his mother and sister in Antalya, a southern Mediterranean resort province popular with Russian and other European tourists.

He said Lyashenko died Saturday but would not provide any other details

The Anatolia news agency said Lyashenko apparently hanged himself with his belt in his hotel room.

Lyashenko came to the NHL from Russia during the 1999-2000 season and posted six goals and six assists in 58 games for the Dallas Stars.

After a similar offensive campaign with the Stars the next season, Lyashenko was shipped along with Martin Rucinsky to the New York Rangers in exchange for Manny Malhotra and Barrett Heisten in March, 2002.

Lyashenko spent last season with Hartford of the American Hockey League where he had 23 goals and 35 assists. The Rangers called him up for two games.

In 139 career games with the Stars and the Rangers, Lyashenko tallied 14 goals and nine assists and was a minus-seven with 55 penalty minutes.

with files from Sports Network