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Former NHL player Kaspars Astasenko found dead

Kaspars Astasenko. Photo: Lita Krone/LETA.
 RIGA, Nov 23 - Former Latvian ice hockey player Kaspars Astasenko was found dead earlier this week. He was just 37-years-old, journalist Armands Puce confirmed to LETA, who was initially told by the player's family.
The player's funeral is expected on Wednesday.
As Puce admitted, the past several years had not been easy for Astasenko after ending his playing career. He had addiction problems, which most likely was the reason for his death.
From 1999 to 2001, Astasenko, who was a defenseman, played for the NHL's Tampa Bay ''Lightning'', playing in 23 games. He scored one goal and made two assists.
Astasenko played for the Latvian national team at the 2001 and 2006 Ice Hockey World Championships, as well as at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In 21 games of the national team, he scored seven goals and made seven assists.
Last season was Astasenko's last as a professional ice hockey player. He played for Latvian ice hockey club ''SMScredit.lv'' and for Finnish club ''Muik Hockey'' in the country's fourth league.
In 2003, Astasenko was arrested for possession of heroin in the United States.
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