Devils’ Zubrus aware of former coach’s death

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Devils forward Dainius Zubrus did not offer much reaction Saturday when addressing the media following the suspected suicide of a Ukrainian coach who mentored Zubrus as a teen.

Ivan Pravilov, 49, while in custody in Philadelphia on child-molestation charges, was found unresponsive in his cell at 3 a.m. Friday, according to spokesman Darrin Howard of the city’s Federal Detention Center.

Pravilov ran an elite hockey school in Ukraine from the 1980s until about 2007, when he came to the U.S. to run camps for standout players from the U.S. and abroad. Players from Ukraine and elsewhere typically enrolled for about a month, staying with host families.

On Jan. 3, he allegedly brought two 14-year-old Ukrainian boys to his Philadelphia apartment from a family home in Wilmington, Del., and fondled one of them during the night.

Zubrus, who has said Pravilov never abused him, spoke prior to the Devils‘ game against Florida. When asked if he heard the news, he was short and stoic.

“Yes I did. I’m sure there are a lot of questions you want to ask,” Zubrus said. “I don’t want to talk that much about it.”

Zubrus said his agent, and the Devils, would soon release a statement.

A first-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Flyers in 1996, Zubrus, 33, has also played for the Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres. He was coached by Pravilov for six years.

Pravilov was facing six to eight years in prison if convicted of taking a minor over state lines for sexual purposes.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player