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Former Blackhawks, Flames forward Tom Lysiak dies

Former NHL All-Star Tom Lysiak has died from leukemia at age 63, his daughter tweeted Monday.

Lysiak was the second overall pick in the 1973 draft, selected by the Atlanta Flames, and was second in rookie of the year voting to the New York Islanders' Denis Potvin.

Lysiak was a three-time All-Star with the Flames, led the team in scoring five times and was a team captain before being dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks in an eight-player trade in 1979. The number of players involved was an NHL record at the time.

Lysiak made a fan for life out of former NHL player and current broadcaster Ed Olczyk, who idolized the center from High Prairie, Alberta, while growing up in Chicago. Olczyk's friend sent a letter to Lysiak when they were 14 saying the aspiring pro hockey player wanted to be his teammate someday, and Lysiak responded with a signed picture. "On that picture it says: 'To Eddie, hope someday we can play together. Best wishes, Tommy Lysiak,'" Olczyk said Tuesday. "I thought that was like the greatest thing ever. I still have that picture on my mantle at home. There's not a day that I don't see it."

Olczyk went on to play two seasons as a teammate of Lysiak's with the Blackhawks and showed him, his wife and daughter that photo a few years ago. When play-by-play announcer Mike Emrick offered his on-air condolences Monday night during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final to Lysiak's family, including son-in-law Justin Braun of the San Jose Sharks, Olczyk said it was difficult to get through the emotions of the moment.

Braun, who is married to Lysiak's daughter, is expected to leave the team temporarily after Game 2 in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to attend his father-in-law's funeral. Braun played over 18 minutes in Monday night's 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"It's a tough situation. To Justin's credit, he was business as usual," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer told reporters in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. "You feel for him. He went out there, he battled for us under tough circumstances."

A gritty player, Lysiak is also remembered for receiving a 20-game suspension for tripping linesman Ron Foyt in a 1983 game against the Hartford Whalers.

Lysiak's daughter, Jessie Lysiak Braun, was a contestant on the television series "MasterChef."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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sportsespnchicago blackhawksatlanta flamesnhlsan jose sharkscalgary flamestom lysiaknew york islandersjustin braun
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