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The Dotted Line

Thursday, November 4, 2004; Page D02

Pro Hockey

Nashville Predators center Sergei Zholtok died yesterday of an apparent heart ailment. He was 31.

The Predators announced that Zholtok died in Latvia, where he was playing for Riga 2000 during the NHL lockout.

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"We are all saddened and shocked to hear of Sergei's sudden passing," Predators General Manager David Poile said in a statement.

Web site TSN.ca reported last night that Zholtok excused himself from a game and collapsed and died on the way to the locker room.

Zholtok left a game in January 2003 because of dizziness and fatigue, and was taken to the hospital for tests, causing concern for Wild Coach Jacques Lemaire.

"I don't think he's okay," Lemaire said at the time.

The forward then sat out early last season when the problems returned.

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