Former NHLer Poddubny dies suddenly

Former National Hockey League forward Walt Poddubny, who had stints with the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs during his 11-year career, died suddenly at home in Thunder Bay, Ont., on Saturday at age 49.

Collapsed during late-morning hours at sister's house

Former NHL player Walt Poddubny died suddenly at home in Thunder Bay, Ont., on Saturday at age 49.

The cause of death is unknown, but a source close to the family said Poddubny had collapsed during the late-morning hours at his sister's house, where he was living.

Drafted 90th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 1980, Poddubny played 11 NHL seasons with stops in Edmonton, Toronto, New York (Rangers), Quebec and New Jersey. He amassed 184 goals and 238 assists in 468 games and topped the 30-goal mark three times.

After finishing his playing career in the American Hockey League with the Worcester IceCats, Poddubny coached the Anchorage Aces in the now-defunct West Coast Hockey League.

He returned home in 2003 to spend time with his children and was involved in coaching and hockey celebrity appearances.

"It's funny. I come back and everyone still comes up and talks to me. That's really cool," Poddubny said in an interview in 2003. "I've always really appreciated that."

Funeral arrangements are pending.