Petr Klima, the first National Hockey League player to defect from the Czech Republic, has died at the age of 58

Former NHL star and Stanley Cup champion Peter Klima has passed away at the age of 58.

The Czech Ice Hockey Federation confirmed that Klima was found, unexpectedly, dead at his home in Chomutov, in his Czech hometown.

Klima is perhaps best remembered for scoring the winning goal in triple overtime in Game 1 of the 1990 Stanley Cup Final to give the Oilers a 3-2 victory over the Bruins.

The Oilers would go on to win the championship in five games.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Oilers alum Peter Klima and extend our condolences to his family and all his loved ones,” the Oilers family tweeted.

The cause of death is not yet known.

“The National Hockey League mourns the death of Czech legend Petr Klima, who scored 313 goals in 13 NHL seasons,” the NHL said in a statement.

Klima helped the Oilers win the 1990 Stanley Cup while scoring a memorable triple overtime winner in Game 1 of the Final. Our sympathies go out to his family, friends and many fans.”

In 1985, Klima became the first hockey player to defect from the Communist Czech Republic to North America, as the Red Wings hatched a plan to get him out of the country.

“he [Klima] Describing the split, former Red Wings scout Ken Holland said years ago, according to the Detroit News.

“[Wings executive Nick] Bolaño was there [in the Czech Republic] He made some connections and eventually got these people to split up. So they put Klima in a fake box and drove across the border.”

Klima scored 313 goals and recorded 260 assists in a career that spanned from 1985 to 1999, starting with the Red Wings before continuing with the Oilers, Lightning, Kings, and Penguins.

At the conclusion of his career, he also returned to Edmonton and Detroit for parts of one season each.

“The Detroit Red Wings are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Petr Klima at the age of 58 in Chomutov, Czech Republic,” the organization said in a statement.

“The Red Wings offer their heartfelt condolences to the Klima family during this difficult time.”

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