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 during the six years he coached 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.