Duchesne collapses, dies at 44

Updated: April 16, 2007, 4:06 PM ET
Associated Press

QUEBEC -- Gaetan Duchesne, who played in the NHL for 14 seasons and helped the Minnesota North Stars reach the 1991 Stanley Cup final, died while training at a gym Monday. He was 44.

Duchesne collapsed and could not be resuscitated, said his former junior team, the Quebec Remparts. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Duchesne played for five NHL teams -- Washington, Quebec, Minnesota, San Jose and Florida -- and retired after the 1994-95 season. The forward appeared in 1,028 NHL games, totaling 179 goals and 254 assists. He was in 84 playoff games.

Duchesne, born in Quebec, was an eighth-round draft pick of the Capitals in 1981 and made the NHL club out of his first training camp. After six seasons with Washington, he was traded to the Nordiques with Alan Haworth and a first-round draft pick -- that turned out to be Joe Sakic -- for Dale Hunter and goalie Clint Malarchuk.

After helping Minnesota advance to the Stanley Cup finals, where the North Stars lost to Pittsburgh in six games, he finished his career with the Sharks and Panthers.

Duchesne later worked as an assistant coach with the defunct Quebec Rafales of the IHL and the Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Duchesne is survived by his wife, a daughter and a son, Jeremy, who is a goaltender with the Val d'Or Foreurs of the QMJHL.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press