Saturday, November 19, 2011


The plane carrying the Lokomotiv hockey team from Yaroslavl to Minsk, the capital of Belarus never got there. The team was to play against Dinamo Minsk in the opening game of the season for the Kontinental Hockey League.

Shortly after take off the remains of the plane were found in the Volga River.
Officials said Russian player Alexander Galimov survived the crash, but he died shortly after in hospital.
The entire Lokomotiv team perished in the crash.

Detroit Red Wings lost three of their fellow teammates in the crash. Other NHL Teams also suffered the death of fellow teammates

McCrimmon played in the NHL from 1979 until 1997 and in 1998 he won Stanley Cup with Calgary Flames. Brad was most recently an assistant coach with Detroit Red Wings.

"He was always happy and looking at things in a positive way," said Wings captain Nick Lidstrom, who had McCrimmon as a defensive partner and roommate in his rookie season.

Coach Babcock has an even longer relationship with Salei. The two first came together when Babcock took over as coach of the Anaheim Ducks for the 2002-03 season."Rusty's a great guy, a family guy," Babcock said. "He was a big part of our team here in Detroit and was a big part of our team in Anaheim." Salei's wife had just given birth to their daughter in the spring.

Hit especially hard over Salei's death was fellow Russian Pavel Datsyuk. During the pre-season Datsyuk worn the #24 (Rusty's number) in honor of his fallen teammate.

Liv, who was taken by Detroit in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL draft, never played an NHL regular-season game before returning to Sweden in 2007 after one year with Grand Rapids (AHL). "He was with our organization for a couple of years," Lidstrom said.

"I played with him at the Olympics in 2006. He's a funny, happy-go-lucky guy. He always has a smile on his face.

Among the other players who had played in the NHL on the Yaroslav roster include: Josef Vasicek (Carolina, Nashville, NYI), Pavol Demitra (Ottawa, St. Louis, Minnesota, Vancouver), Karel Rachunek (Ottawa, NJ, NYR), Daniel Tjarnqvist (Colorado), Karlis Skrastins (Nashville, Colorado, Florida, Dallas) and Alexander Vasyunov (NJ).

McCrimmon's assistant coaches included a pair of former NHLers, Alexander Karpovtsev (NYR, NYI, Toronto, Chicago, Florida) and Igor Korolev (St. Louis, Phoenix, Toronto, Chicago )

Many NHL fans were shocked and sadden by the death of so may former NHL players and former coaches. It has been a tremendously hard summer for the National Hockey League. Along with the death of Belak, Rypien and Boogaard, the death of the entire Lokomotiv Team seemed just too much to bear.

But those who grew up in Russian and played minor and pro-hockey with their fallen teammates would bear the loss hardest. To date their stats have fallen drastically. Most of them are not even in the top 35 scorers. We fans must be patient with them. They will come around and eventually adjust. And they will do it in honor of those they have lost.

Current Russian Player Stats