|Former Adirondack Frostbite coach Marc Potvin committed suicide by hanging himself from a shower curtain rod in his Michigan hotel room, police said Thursday.
Potvin's blood-alcohol content was nearly twice the legal threshold for intoxication when tests were performed on a blood sample in the hours after his Jan. 13 death, said Kalamazoo Police Detective Sgt. Scott Merlo.
Potvin used a belt to hang himself, but did not leave a note behind, Merlo said. Kalamazoo Police talked to dozens of people who knew him in the days after his death, and none talked of any signs of depression or any mention by Potvin that he had contemplated suicide, Merlo said.
Players interviewed by The Post-Star the day of Potvin's death also said they saw no signs anything was unusual about him, and that he had joked with the team on the bus and in the hotel early Jan. 13.
"We've talked to numerous, numerous people and no one said they saw it coming," Merlo said.
Potvin's sister, Maureen Potvin of Ontario, said the family saw no signs of trouble or hints of depression, and loved ones were still in shock over his death.
"There doesn't seem to be an answer," she said.
Merlo said Potvin's blood-alcohol content was found to be 0.15 percent, nearly double the Michigan threshold for intoxication. A urine test found the level to be 0.22 percent, but the lower number is believed to be more accurate, Merlo said.
There were no drugs or other notable substances found in his blood, police said.
Merlo said Kalamazoo Police held off releasing the cause of death pending the completion of the toxicology report, which police received Wednesday afternoon.
"We wanted to make sure everything was how we thought it was, that there wasn't something more," he said.
Kalamazoo County Medical Examiner Dr. Richard Tooker said Wednesday his office had not filed a death certificate in the case at the request of police, who said the investigation was ongoing.
Merlo said that investigation was considered closed as of Thursday with the return of the report from the forensic pathologist who handled the case.
The team was in Kalamazoo for a United Hockey League game that night. It had arrived about 2:30 a.m. after a 10-hour bus trip from Glens Falls. Its games that weekend were postponed.
Merlo said police were told by members of the team that Potvin had a few beers on the team bus to Michigan, and also had gone to the Clarion Hotel bar after the bus arrived.
Potvin, 38, was found dead by a hotel employee about 10 a.m. after he did not show up for the team's morning skate. He had coached the team for two seasons, after playing for Adirondack of the American Hockey League and several National Hockey League teams.
He was married and had two young children, but he and his wife had separated in recent months.
The police release Thursday of the manner and cause of death confirmed rumors that had been swirling since the days after Potvin died, when police said there was no foul play and that it was apparent to them how he died. They would not publicly theorize on what they believed happened, however.
Amy Apicerno, the team's assistant general manager, said Thursday morning she had not heard of the manner of death. Neither Apicerno nor Suzanna Bernd, executive director of the Glens Falls Civic Center, would comment on the matter or discuss Potvin's mood in the days before Jan. 13.
Messages left for team co-owners Barry Melrose and Steve Levy were not immediately returned Thursday.
Efforts to reach his wife at her Ohio home were unsuccessful Thursday.