PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A former NHL player and minor league coach has been found dead in a rehabilitation facility for men in Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood.
Dave Gove, 38, a retired hockey player and recent minor league hockey head coach with the Wheeling Nailers, was found dead Wednesday afternoon at Bethlehem Haven.
Multiple sources told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti that there were stamp bags of heroin near Gove’s body, and every indication was that he died of a drug overdose.
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Gove’s death late Thursday night, but provided no additional details.
A source told KDKA that Gove had been staying at Bethlehem Haven, “trying to get his life back together again.”
One man who recently became acquainted with Gove in Pittsburgh, described him as “a nice guy, very friendly and down to earth.”
Gove was head coach of the Wheeling Nailers last year for several months, but took a leave of absence in April without explanation.
Gove played on the Carolina Hurricanes when they won the Stanley Cup in 2006. He played only a couple of games during the Hurricanes’ season.
He also played for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ minor league team in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton eight years ago.
Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford and the Wheeling Nailers organization released statements on Gove’s death on Friday.
Rutherford’s statement says, “The Pittsburgh Penguins organization is saddened by the passing of Dave Gove. Dave touched many lives in the hockey world as both a player and coach. We express our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.”
The Nailers’ statement reads as follows: “We are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Coach Gove. David was a bright, caring person that was admired. His positive contributions to the Nailer organization made the team and staff better. We extend our deepest sympathy to Katie, his young son Cullen, and the rest of his family and friends.”