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Sharks’ Justin Braun mourns loss of father-in-law Tom Lysiak

PITTSBURGH – Monday was one of the greatest days of Justin Braun’s life. It was Game 1 of his first Stanley Cup Final, playing for the San Jose Sharks against the Pittsburgh Penguins. 

For his family, however, it was one of the saddest days: Tom Lysiak, the former NHL center with the Atlanta Flames and the Chicago Blackhawks, died at 63 after a prolonged battle with leukemia. He was diagnosed three years ago.

As Jessie Lysiak Braun announced:

Lysiak was a gritty character in the game, and arguably the finest player in the Flames’ history in Atlanta, making three NHL All-Star Games. Perhaps most infamously, he was suspended for 20 games for tripping Ron Foyt during a game against the Hartford Whalers. 

But that was only one side of Lysiak.

"He was great; full of life," Braun said after the Sharks’ Game 1 loss, via NHL.com. "Loved to hang out with the boys, hearing about the hockey days when he played. He was just one of the guys, loved hanging out. [He] was a great husband, a great father; was great to me, welcomed me into the family. It was a tough day."

The Sharks knew it was a tough day, and were impressed with how Braun kept it together.

“It’s a tough situation,” said coach Peter DeBoer. “To Justin’s credit, he was business as usual. He’s made some arrangements for after Game 2 to pay his respects, do what he has to do on that end.

“[As a coach] there’s not much you can do. You feel for him. He went out there. He battled for us. And we all appreciated it.”

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Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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