Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hockey World Mourns Loss of Russian Team Lokomotiv

The ice hockey world is in mourning after a passenger plane carrying a Russian ice hockey team to a season-opening match crashed after takeoff from a provincial airport yesterday, killing 43 people, including former NHLers former Kings forward Pavol Demitra and Ducks defenseman Ruslan Salei,  and plunging the Russian and international sports world into grief.

The Yak-42 aircraft crashed into a river bank near Yaroslavl, home city of the Kontinental Hockey League team Lokomotiv, whose Russian and foreign stars were on board flying to a match in Minsk, Belarus.

Among international victims were three Czech world champions Jan Marek, Karel Rachunek and Josef Vasicek, Swedish goalkeeper Stefan Liv, a renowned Slovak forward and a Canadian coach.
Lokomotiv's head coach, Canadian former Detroit Red Wings assistant Brad McCrimmon, was also on the passenger list. Many had played around the world, including in North America's National Hockey League.
“This is the darkest day in the history of our sport. This is not only a Russian tragedy, the Lokomotiv roster included players and coaches from 10 nations. This is a terrible tragedy for the global ice hockey community with so many nationalities involved. Our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends of the victims. Despite the substantial air travel of professional hockey teams, our sport has been spared from tragic traffic accidents. But only until now.”
International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel
“I think it's a huge loss for the hockey world, something like this happens. A tragedy for the hockey world.”
Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom

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