Tragedy Strikes Russia, KHL and NHL Community

APTOPIX Russia CrashRussia’s worst nightmare became a reality today. A plane carrying  the members of KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed near the central Russian city of Yaroslavl earlier today. The crash has seen that most members of the KHL team, coaching staff, and flight crew killed in this horrific accident.

CNN reports that 2 of the 45 people on board have survived the crash. Yaroslavl’s regional governor, Sergei Vakhrukov, named the two survivors as Russian forward Alexander Galimov and flight crew member Alexander Sizov. Both are being treated in intensive care.

The Lokomotiv team, which was scheduled to play a match Thursday in the new Kontinental Hockey League, had a number of players with ties to the National Hockey League. The former players include  former Canucks and Rangers forward Pavol Demitra, former Rangers and Senators defenseman Karel Rachunek, former Hurricanes forward Josef Vasicek, Devils prospect Alexander Vasyunov. Former Red Wings assistant coach as well as former Wings and Flyers player Brad McCrimmon was the head coach of the team while former NHLers Igor Korolev and Alexander Karpovtsev were assistant coaches.

This summer has only brought the whole hockey community tragedy and pain with the deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien, and Wade Belak; this plane crash comes as an unspeakable tragedy. With so many former NHL players and current Russian players involved in this disaster, the pain felt in the hockey community grows exponentially.

And to make the tragedy worse, Chesnokov reports that the entire Lokomotiv team was on board the plane because they were preparing to head to the first game of the season and wanted to celebrate together appropriately. The KHL suspended the one game that was being played today in light of the tragedy.

From all of us at, our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved with the Lokomotiv team and flight crew. You all will be sadly missed.