Former NHL player, Wheeling Nailers coach found dead in Pittsburgh

Former hockey coach found dead in Pittsburgh

A former NHL hockey player and coach of the Wheeling Nailers was found dead in Pittsburgh.


The medical examiner’s office said the body of David Gove was found Wednesday night in an emergency shelter on Fifth Avenue.

Michael Nepsa, of Apollo, played for Gove in his coaching debut with the Nailers.

"He said, ‘Whatever happens, hopefully you guys stick beside me, but let’s go out and get a win.’ And we ended up getting a loss, but I think the team played pretty well for him for his first game,” Nepsa said. "He played in the NH, so he had, you know, a pretty good grasp on how to perform at the highest level, and I think he brought that to the rest of the guys. He was a good guy he was a great coach."

Last April, Gove took a leave of absence from the Nailers, an ECHL Penguins affiliate.

“We kind of knew some stuff was going on for personal reasons. I don’t think anyone knew exactly the extent of it, but it did come as a shock,” Nepsa said.

On Friday, the Nailers said in a statement, “We are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Coach Gove.  David was a bright, caring person that was admired.  His positive contributions to the Nailer organization made the team and staff better."

Gove played two games in the NHL with the Carolina Hurricanes. Most of his career was spent in the minor leagues before he went to coaching.

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said, “Dave touched many lives in the hockey world as both a player and coach.  We express our deepest sympathy to his family and friends."

The spokesperson for the emergency shelter was not available for comment.

The medical examiner’s office is awaiting the results of toxicology tests.