NHL goalkeeper Linus Ullmark has missed Buffalo's last two games.

In a message on the club's website, he now says that his father passed away after a period of illness, 63 years old.

It was after Monday morning training that he received the message from home.

- I had my worst morning workout ever and when it has happened before, there has always been a connection to my dad.

I knew something was wrong, says Linus Ullmark.

Ullmark felt after the news that he was not in a mental state to play any matches and therefore stood over the double encounter with Philadelphia. 

Got to say goodbye

Ullmark's father never got to see his son play live in North America, but the NHL goalkeeper says that his father followed everything he did and that they had regular contact by phone.

Linus also had time for one last conversation with Dad before he passed away.

- Dad could not talk or hold the phone himself, but I told mom to put it to his ear so I could say goodbye.

I said all those things I want to say and I am very grateful for that, says Linus Ullmark.

Supported by the team

After Monday's match, the team chose star Jack Eichel to give the match puck to Ullmark as a symbolic gesture.

- It was a nice gesture.

All teammates have been very supportive.

When I got the puck, I had to fight to hold back the tears, he says.

The text is updated.