Former Harvard Standout Cavanagh Found Dead
CHN Staff Report
Former Harvard standout Tom Cavanagh was found dead Thursday inside the parking garage of the Providence Place Mall in Rhode Island.
The events leading up his death are not immediately clear, but a coroner's report said the 28-year old Cavanagh died from "multiple traumatic injuries due to blunt force impact." His car was later discovered, with his wallet inside, in another part of the garage.
Cavanagh played for Harvard from 2001-05, later playing 18 games in the NHL with the San Jose Sharks. His father, Joseph Cavanagh, was a three-time All-American for Harvard, graduated in 1971. Though it's unclear if it's related to his death, Joe Cavanagh said his son battled mental illness.
“Our son, Tom, was a young man who bravely fought the demons of mental illness for many years," Joe Cavanagh said in a statement. "This private struggle far surpassed his public athletic accomplishments.
“Our family will celebrate and always remember his beautiful but short life. We hope that his friends and supporters will pray for him and for us during these difficult days. We already have felt the love of so many people of our community.”
Prior to Harvard, Cavanagh was a Rhode Island all-State player at Toll Gate High School in Warwick. After college, Cavanagh played in Cleveland and Worcester, and made his NHL debut in 2008. Cavanagh played in 18 NHL games with San Jose over two seasons (2007-09), scoring one goal and three points.
Cavanagh had a shoulder injury, which left him as a free agent. He was apparently undecided on whether to continue playing hockey.
Cavanagh's best season for the Crimson came in 2003-04, his junior year, when he scored 16 goals. Harvard made the NCAAs all four years while Cavanagh was there.