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Senators Assistant Coach Mark Reeds Passes Away

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Fighting cancer for the last few years, Mark Reeds, 55, died earlier this morning.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators family is grieving today, as assistant coach Mark Reeds, who had battled cancer the last few years and who had recently been diagnosed with an inoperable form of cancer, died early this morning after being hospitalized with pneumonia. He was far too young at 55.

As a junior player he went to the Memorial Cup in three consecutive seasons with the Peterboough Petes of the OHL and was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the 5th round of the 1979 NHL Entry Draft. Reeds played in parts of 8 NHL seasons, primarily with the Blues but also with the Hartford Whalers, recording 45 goals, 114 assists, and 159 points in 365 career games. He played in Italy for three years before return to North America for part of a season with the Peoria Rivermen, retiring in 1992.

He began his coaching career immediately, working for the Rivermen until 1996. He coached the Missouri River Otters and the Kalamazoo Wings, both of the UHL, until 2007 when he was offered the head coaching job with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL. In his fourth season with the team in 2011, Reeds led the Attack to an OHL championship and Memorial Cup birth. He was hired by the Senators as an assistant coach that summer under former head coach Paul MacLean.

While his achievements as a player and coach are significant, they are overshadowed by the man he was. If you want evidence of the type of person Reeds was, look through the numerous tweets of condolence and remembrance on twitter today. Words like "great" and "beloved" come up a lot.

The thoughts and condolences of the Silver Seven community go out to Mark Reeds' wife, Mary, his two children, and the entire Senators family.