A plane crash near the city of Yaroslavl in Central Russia has claimed the lives of at least 43 people, according to Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry. The majority of victims are believed to be members of the Kontinental Hockey League club, Lokomotiv.
The names that might have been and the names that are coming out that were on the plane is absolutely devastating. The team’s head coach, Brad McCrimmon, played in the NHL and most recently served as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings before taking the Yaroslavl job in May. Defensemen Karel Rachunek, Ruslan Salei and Karlis Skrastins, as well as forwards Pavol Demitra and Josef Vasicek all spent a good deal of time in the NHL. Forward Alexander Vasyunov played a handful of games with the New Jersey Devils this past season. Vasyunov has been confirmed to have lost his live in the plane crash.
This offseason has been full of devastating news for NHL and former NHL Players. My heart, my prayers and my thoughts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy. The hockey community is a small community and a tragedy like this certainly rocks the foundation of the game we’ve come to love.