The Tampa Bay Lightning radio broadcast was without one of their regular voices for a game against the Washington Capitals Tuesday -- the daughter of team co-founder and radio color commentator Phil Esposito passed away in Germany Monday at the age of 43 after a sudden illness.
Carrie Esposito Selivanov, married to former Bolt (1994-1999) Alex Selivanov, had lived in Krefeld, Germany for several years while her husband played and coached in the Netherlands. Alex, a native Russian, played for the Krefeld Penguins of the DEL from 2004 to 2008. Carrie and Alex have two children together, Nikko and Rocco. Carrie also has another son, Dylan.
Selivanov's ties to the Lightning were not only through her father, an NHL Hall of Famer -- she worked for the Tampa Bay Lightning in the team's early years, serving as the first Director of Team Services from 1992 to 1996.
It is unclear what caused Selivanov's death, but Esposito hopes to learn more once he travels to Germany for her funeral services. Esposito spoke with her as recently as Friday, at which time, Esposito says, "She never said a word. She said she was fine."
It has been a difficult season for Esposito -- only a few weeks ago, Esposito's ex-wife and Carrie's mother, Linda, died of emphysema.
"I'm just in shock," Esposito said Tuesday. Terry Crisp, the first coach of the Lightning, said of the tragedy, "It was like a member of your family is gone."
Tuesday evening, the Lightning released a statement from the Esposito family, thanking the team, fans, and the entire hockey community for their support. "We are shocked and saddened with her death but we will remember her for the energy and vigor that she brought to each day of her life. Our focus will now center on her sons Dylan, Nikko and Rocco," Esposito said.
In the team's statement, they indicated that they are accepting condolences for the Espositos, which may be sent to: Phil Esposito, c/o Tampa Bay Lightning, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa, FL 33602.
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