A devastating loss. Pro hockey player David Pastrnak received thoughts and prayers from fans after he announced the death of his newborn baby.
“Viggo Rohl Pastrnak June 17th 2021 – June 23rd 2021 🕊,” the 25-year-old Boston Bruins athlete captioned a black-and-white photo of his and girlfriend Rebecca Rohlsson‘s son on Monday, June 28. “We have an Angel watching over us and we call him SON. You will be loved FOREVER🤍. Please respect our privacy as we are going through these heartbreaking times.”
Later that day, Pastrnak’s NHL teammates issued a statement of support. “We are heartbroken by the passing of David and Rebecca’s son, Viggo,” the message shared via Twitter read. “David and Rebecca are a part of our family and we share in their loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and respect their privacy during this very difficult time.”
The couple revealed in January that they were expecting a child, and four months later, the Czech Republic native gushed about the process of preparing for the little one’s arrival.
“You come home and you don’t think about hockey at all, you obviously have other priorities,” he told NHL.com in May. “You’re getting ready for the baby and we couldn’t be more excited. So, hockey’s not been talked much lately at home and sometimes that’s good, you know?”
At the time, Pastrnak — known to fans as “Pasta” — was helping paint a nursery and build a crib for the baby as a way to take his mind off the stress of his busy schedule. “When things are going well, it’s good, and when things are not going well, sometimes you just need to think about other stuff,” he explained. “For me, it’s been definitely something new, but I’m so excited. Family is always going to be [No. 1] and at the end of the day. I’m grateful that I can live and work with a job that I love, but at the end of the day it’s just a game. [My family] is always going to be [No. 1].”
Other NHL teams — including the Philadelphia Flyers, Calgary Flames and Dallas Knights — extended their condolences to Pastrnak and Rohlsson on Monday. Hockey fans from all over the country also rallied behind the pair after news of their loss made headlines.
“I don’t know David and Becky personally but I’m still grieving along with them,” one Twitter user wrote. “You’re loved Viggo.”
Another fan tweeted, “All our love, light [and] prayers to Pasta, Rebecca, & their families,” adding, “Hockey is family.”