Tom Cavanagh, Former Sharks Forward, Found Dead at Providence Mall
Police told the Providence Journal that Cavanagh's body was found in one area of the garage shortly before noon Thursday, and his car was discovered in another part of the garage later in the day. An autopsy revealed "multiple traumatic injuries due to blunt force impact."
Cavanagh's father Joseph, an attorney, released a statement Friday night that read in part:
"Our son, Tom, was a young man who bravely fought the demons of mental illness for many years. This private struggle far surpassed his public athletic accomplishments. Our family will celebrate and always remember his beautiful but short life."
A Rhode Island native, Cavanagh was an All-State hockey player at Toll Gate High School before moving on to Harvard, where he played from 2001-05.
After college, he played mostly in the AHL for the next five seasons, but did make one appearance for the Sharks in 2007-08 and 17 more the following season. He scored one NHL goal, in what turned out to be his second-to-last game with the Sharks, finding the net March 28, 2009 in a 3-2 win against the Coyotes.
Cavanagh saw limited time for Manchester of the AHL last year but was not playing professionally this season.
"We are shocked and saddened by the news of Tom's passing," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "Tom was an extraordinary young man and a terrific teammate who spent four seasons with our organization. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time."