Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson releases statement after death of unborn son

The hockey world was hit with a piece of devastating news on Tuesday afternoon when the Ottawa Senators released a statement revealing that defenseman Erik Karlsson and his wife, Melinda, lost their unborn son, Axel. 

On Wednesday, Erik and Melinda released a joint statement via his Twitter account. They expressed their grief but also thanked everyone for the outpouring of support they received following the devastating news.

"At this extremely difficult time it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but we know one day we'll get there. We would like to thank everyone for the love and support we have received and also for respecting our privacy and the process that we need to go through.

"We feel very lucky to be Axel's parents. Even though he was stillborn, we know we will hold him again one day under different circumstances and the joy he gave us will be with us forever."

Karlsson, 27, and Melinda announced that they were expecting a boy -- their first child together -- with a gender reveal post on social media back in December. That announcement went viral, as Karlsson discovered the baby's gender with a slapshot that exploded into blue smoke before he excitedly celebrated with his wife. The baby was reportedly due in April.

The defenseman left the team on Tuesday to be with his family as they mourn, and there's currently no timetable yet for his return. 

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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