The daughter of Hockey Hall of Famer Phil Esposito died Monday due to an unknown illness.
Carrie Esposito Selivanov, the wife of former Tampa Bay Lightning winger Alex Selivanov, died suddenly in Krefeld, Germany at the age of 43.
"I'm having major difficulties with this," Esposito told the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday. "I'm just in shock. I cannot believe it even as I sit and talk to you. I expect her to call me and start saying, 'April fool.'"
Esposito Selivanov "coughed up some blood" about 10 days ago, her father said, but refused to see a doctor.
The family -- the couple have three children, Dylan (18), Nikko (13) and Rocco (10) -- was living in Germany because Selivanov has been playing and coaching in the Netherlands. Selivanov played in Krefeld from 2003-08.
Private funeral services will be held later this week in Germany, according to a statement from Esposito issued by the Lightning.
"We are shocked and saddened with her death but we will remember her for the energy and vigor that she brought to each day of her life," Esposito said in the statement. "Our focus will now centre on her sons Dylan, Nikko and Rocco."