MORE TRAGEDY: LOKOMOTIV PLANE CRASHES

Robin Brownlee
September 07 2011 07:50AM

With the NHL still coping with the deaths of players Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak, the hockey world is reeling with today's tragic news out of Russia about the crash of Jaroslavl Lokomotiv's team flight shortly after take-off. Here's the story, starting with the original report by the Associated Press, as it has unfolded since the news broke this morning. 

MOSCOW— The Associated Press

A Russian jet carrying a local ice hockey team crashed Wednesday while taking off in western Russia, killing 36 people and leaving one critically injured, officials said.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the Yak-42 plane crashed immediately after taking off from an airport near the city of Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 240 kilometers northeast of Moscow. It said one person survived the crash with grave injuries.

The ministry said the plane was carrying the Lokomotiv ice hockey team from Yaroslavl.

The team was heading to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where it was to play Thursday against Dinamo Minsk in the opening game of the season of the Continental Hockey League. The CHL is a league of several ex-Soviet nations.

The team is coached by former NHLer Brad McCrimmon and the most up-to-date Jaroslavl roster lists Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Josef Vasicek, Ruslan Salei and Karlis Skrastins among the players on the team. Former Edmonton Oiler Alexei Mikhnov played with Lokomotiv for the past five seasons, but was not among the players listed on the most current roster.

There are are no details, as of 7:55 MT, as to who was travelling with the team and who the lone survivor was. More to come.

UPDATE

Yahoo! Sports' Dmitri Chesnokov added some clarity through translation Tweeting (@dchesnokov), SovSport is reporting that the lone survivor (at this point) is a crew member. No news about any survivors from #Lokomotiv.

UPDATE

TUNOSHNA, Russia (AP) -- Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry says at least 43 people have died in the crash of a Russian jet carrying a top ice hockey team.

The ministry said the plane was carrying 45 people, including 37 passengers and eight crew. The ministry said all but two people were killed in the crash.

The ministry said the Yak-42 plane crashed immediately after takeoff from an airport near the city of Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Moscow.

UPDATE

Daniel Tjarnqvist, who played with the Oilers during the 2006-07 season, is listed as a player with Jaroslavl in a report by World News, but reports are he left the team earlier this summer. No confirmation on that.

UPDATE

Spoke with J.J. Hebert of the Oilers, but still no word if Mikhnov, drafted 17th overall by the Oilers in 2000, was a member of Jaroslavl this season and/or was travelling with the team.

UPDATE

According to Dmitry Chesnokov of the International Sports Press Association, a team official tells Sovetsky Sport “everyone from the main roster was on the plane and four players from the youth team.”

Lokomotiv forward Alexander Galimov survived the crash, his agent confirmed to Sovetsky Sport, Chesnokov reports.

UPDATE

Russian officials to SovSport: "Ruslai Salei was on board the plane."
 
UPDATE

Former NHL star Pavol Demitra's agent, Matt Keator, confirmed his client was one of the players killed in the crash.

"This is just awful," Keator said. "He was such a popular guy with everyone he has ever played with."

UPDATE

This from Eetu Huisman (comment 16) :Tjärnqvist signed with Djurgården in June and Mikhnov with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in May, so neither of them was in the plane.

UPDATE

As per Huisman information above, Mikhnov is listed on the Metallurg Magnitogorsk roster: en.khl.ru/clubs/metallurg_mg

UPDATE

Statement from KHL Website:

"Russian hockey has been stunned by news of a plane crash which has killed almost all of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s team as they travelled to Belarus for their opening fixture of the KHL season.

A club spokesman confirmed that the aircraft was carrying the club’s players to their game with Dinamo Minsk, which was due to be played on Thursday.

Among those on board was newly-appointed head coach Brad McKrimmon, recently arrived from Chicago Black Hawks to take charge of the team for the 2011-12 season. Two members of the World Championship-winning Czech team of 2010, Jan Marek and Josef Vasicek, were also among those in the crash.

The team’s Yak-42 crashed on take-off from Yaroslavl’s Tunoshna airport shortly after 4 pm Moscow time. There were just two survivors among the 45 passengers and crew on board, including player Alexander Galimov and Alexander Sizov, a member of the flight crew. Earlier reports had said that 36 of the 37 passengers had died.

Preliminary information from Rosaviatsiya suggests that the plane failed to gain height after leaving the runway and collided with a navigation beacon before coming to earth about 2 km from the airport.

Shocked silence
As news filtered through to Ufa, where the league was celebrating the start of the new season with the traditional rematch of last season’s grand final, the game was abandoned.

KHL president Alexander Medvedev interrupted play 15 minutes into the first period to announce the tragedy to a packed arena, which responded in shocked silence.

After a brief meeting between the players and officials of hosts Salavat Yulaev, guests Atlant Moscow Region and representatives of the KHL, the game was postponed.

That decision was greeted with respectful applause from the crowd, while Medvedev went on to pledge his support for the Yarolslavl club.

“We will do all that we can to ensure that top level hockey continues in Yaroslavl and that Lokomotiv remains one of the strongest clubs in the Kontinental Hockey League,” he said.

Condolences
The tragedy brought sympathy and support from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is heading to Yaroslavl for an annual political forum.

His press secretary, Natalya Timakova, announced that the forum’s program would change and Medvedev would begin by visiting the scene of the disaster and holding an emergency meeting with senior transport officials.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s transport minister, Igor Levitin, to go straight to the crash site.

International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel said it was "the darkest day in the history of our sport".

“Despite the substantial air travel of professional hockey teams, our sport has been spared from tragic traffic accidents,” Fasel added. “But only until now. 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 ten nations.”

Fasel will arrive in Russia on Thursday in a pre-arranged visit, and told IIHF.com he would take the opportunity to mourn with the Russian hockey authorities.

The Russian Hockey Federation also published a message of sympathy on its website: “The FHR expresses its deepest condolences to the bereaved families and relatives, fans and the entire hockey community”.

Lokomotiv had been traveling to Minsk for its opening fixture against Dinamo, due to be played on Thursday evening.

A decision on whether to play Thursday’s other hockey games has not yet been taken. "

NOTE: The team picture of Jaroslavl Lokomotiv posted above was taken Aug. 21, 2011.

UPDATE

Video of the crash scene here: www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/09/07/russia.plane.crash/index.html

UPDATE

NEW YORK (September 7, 2011) -- Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the
National Hockey League, today released the following statement on the
tragedy involving the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey club:

 "Though it occurred thousands of miles away from our home arenas,
this tragedy represents a catastrophic loss to the hockey world --
including the NHL family, which lost so many fathers, sons, teammates and
friends who at one time excelled in our League. Our deepest condolences go
to the families and loved ones of all who perished.”

UPDATE

Agent Ritch Winter interview with Jim Matheson of The Journal here: blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2011/09/07/ritch-winter-remembers-pavol-demitra/

UPDATE

Dmitry Chesnokov
 

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#1 Wanyes bastard child
September 07 2011, 05:40PM
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Well fck me... when it rains it pours...

RIP

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#2 Hemmertime
September 07 2011, 07:56AM
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OMG, Horrible

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#3 Oilcruzer
September 07 2011, 05:00PM
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Buddy Holly would be 75 today. Waylon Jennings decided to give up his seat on the plane, and Buddy took it.

Buddy said, "I hope you freeze on your drive", and Waylon shot back "Well, maybe your plane will crash"

He is still haunted by that.

American Pie is the song that mourns the loss of Holly, Valens, the Bopper...

..."the day the music died"

Don't know why, but somehow, I felt it necessary to share that true story; perhaps its because today, this day, I feel is a day when a piece of the hockey world died.

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#4 BUCK75
September 07 2011, 07:53AM
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That is truly unfortunate.

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#5 Oilcruzer
September 07 2011, 07:56AM
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This is just horrible news.

. Early reports 44 died and one survivor.

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#6 esa tikkanen
September 07 2011, 07:58AM
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this is tragic.

doesn't alexei mikhnov play for them?

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#7 Woogie
September 07 2011, 08:14AM
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RIP... I feel sorry not only for the hockey community by mainly for the love ones left behind. God bless!

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#8 The Towel Boy
September 07 2011, 08:18AM
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Brutal.

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#9 Jonathan Willis
September 07 2011, 08:21AM
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Deepest condolences to everyone involved. This is tragic on a nearly unprecedented scale to the hockey world.

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#10 Kent Wilson
September 07 2011, 08:24AM
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This is just awful news.

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#11 Kpat99
September 07 2011, 08:33AM
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This news is truly sickening to here about anyone. Thoughts to the families

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#12 Raider Jesse
September 07 2011, 08:35AM
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Just tragic. I'm at a loss of what to say.

I started crying when I started looking through the names. Hearing kids name's like Daniil Sobchenko, who we just watched at the World Juniors.

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#13 Oiler Country
September 07 2011, 08:36AM
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Terrible, tragic news.

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#14 Thomas Drance
September 07 2011, 08:51AM
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Heartbreaking. This offseason has been an unrelenting nightmare.

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#15 The Fish
September 07 2011, 08:59AM
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WTF is going on? This is definitely a summer to forget. Thoughts and prayers to all involved.

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#16 thebiggestmanintheworld
September 07 2011, 09:07AM
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RIP

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#17 Archaeologuy
September 07 2011, 09:09AM
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Unbelievable.

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#18 Eetu Huisman
September 07 2011, 09:12AM
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Tjärnqvist signed with Djurgården in June and Mikhnov with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in May, so neither of them was in the plane.

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#19 DonovanMD
September 07 2011, 09:30AM
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Just a terrible summer for hockey, or sports in general.

I imagine Crosby will be keeping his presser brief this morning. Stuff like possibly sitting out a season dont seem to matter as much anymore.

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#20 everton fc
September 07 2011, 09:32AM
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Reports that Salei was awaiting the team in Minsk, and was not on the flight. Can anyone confirm?

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#21 Harlie
September 07 2011, 09:34AM
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Tragic sad terrible news.

My thoughts go out to the families of those who lost a loved one.

Very heartbreaking.

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#23 D
September 07 2011, 09:49AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Thanks for providing that information. I hadn't been able to find anything on Mikhnov.

RB,

Here is Mikhnov's roster listing with Metallurg.

http://en.khl.ru/clubs/metallurg_mg

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#24 baggedmilk
September 07 2011, 09:49AM
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Unbelievable. RIP

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#25 Wanye
September 07 2011, 09:49AM
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My goodness. What a horrible tragedy.

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#26 Clarkenstein
September 07 2011, 09:52AM
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Brad McCrimmon evidently perished as well.

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#27 vetinari
September 07 2011, 10:04AM
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Condolences to the family, friends and teammates of the players and coaches, and to the members of the flight crew. Another sad day in the world's hockey family...

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#28 Pension Plan Puppets
September 07 2011, 10:05AM
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everton fc wrote:

Reports that Salei was awaiting the team in Minsk, and was not on the flight. Can anyone confirm?

Unfortunately, that report was erroneous.

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#29 Vintage Flame
September 07 2011, 10:09AM
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Such a tragedy. Thoughts and prayers to all the families. What a shame to lose Brad McCrimmon.

RIP Sarge

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#30 Vintage Flame
September 07 2011, 10:19AM
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Initially the Continental Hockey League (KHL) elected to go ahead with the scheduled first match between reigning champions Ufa and last season's runners-up Mytishchi.

But after details of the full extent of the accident were confirmed the match was stopped with five minutes, 16 seconds remaining before the first intermission.

"In such a situation the players of both teams considered the playing after their friends and collegues died to be absolutely impossible," KHL president Alexander Medvedev announced.

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#31 Dan the Man
September 07 2011, 10:21AM
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Unbelievably tragic news. My condolences to the friends and families of all who perished.

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#32 Hat Pughes
September 07 2011, 10:26AM
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Add me to the list of shocked. This is so sad.

Unsubstantitated reports are that the plane exceeded the on-board weight allowed resulting in the crash into a radar system on takeoff.

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#33 Kevin R
September 07 2011, 10:35AM
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This is just unbelievable! How horrible for their families. I just cant fathom what they are going through and my eyes are tearing from just the thought of it. RIP to all those on board that perished.

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#34 madjam
September 07 2011, 10:37AM
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Numbing tradgedy !

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#35 Vintage Flame
September 07 2011, 10:40AM
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@Hat Pughes

I have a friend who is a pilot for Westjet. Just last week, he was explaining to me how the first 5 minutes of takeoff are the most dangerous and have the most potential for accident on a flight.. Just eerie.

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#36 Hat Pughes
September 07 2011, 10:58AM
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Vintage Flame wrote:

I have a friend who is a pilot for Westjet. Just last week, he was explaining to me how the first 5 minutes of takeoff are the most dangerous and have the most potential for accident on a flight.. Just eerie.

My FatherInLaw is a pilot too and this is the same information he conveyed to me. And there are sooo many factors that a pilot must account for at takeoff. I know he is real anal about his flight plan and pre-take off prep work.

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#37 Oilcruzer
September 07 2011, 11:05AM
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Latest List from Sovsport.ru (translated)

Passengers:

1.Аникеенко Виталий Сергеевич 1.Anikeenko Vitaly 2.Бахвалов Юрий Алексеевич 2.Bahvalov Yuri 3.Беляев Александр Владимирович 3.Belyaev Alexander 4.Баландин Михаил Юрьевич 4.Balandin Mikhail 5.Васюнов Александр Сергеевич 5.Vasyunov Alexander 6.Вашичек Йозеф 6.Vashichek Joseph 7.Вьюхин Александр Евгеньевич 7.Vyuhin Alexander E. 8.Дитрих Роберт Генрихович 8.Ditrih Robert Genrikhovich 9.Демитра Павол 9.Demitra Pavol 10.Зимин Андрей Валерьевич 10.Zimin Andrey 11.Калимулин Марат Натфуллович 11.Kalimulin Marat Natfullovich 12.Карповцев Александр Георгиевич 12.Karpovtsev Alexander G. 13.Калянин Александр Игоревич 13.Kalyanin Alexander I. 14.Кирюхин Андрей Анатольевич 14.Kiryuhin Andrey 15.Клюкин Никита Сергеевич 15.Klyukin Nikita 16.Королев Игорь Борисович 16.Korolev Igor Borisovich 17.Кривоносов Николай Иванович 17.Krivonosov Nikolai 18.Куннов Евгений Геннадьевич 18.Kunnov Evgeny 19.Кузнецов Вячеслав Михайлович 19.Kuznetsov Vyacheslav Mikhailovich 20.Лив Стефан Даниэль Патрик 20.Liv Stephen Daniel Patrick 21.Марек Ян Jan 21.Marek 22.МакКриммон Брэд Байрон 22.MakKrimmon Brad Byron 23.Остапчук Сергей Игоревич 23.Ostapchuk Sergey I. 24.Пискунов Владимир Леонидович 24.Piskunov Vladimir Leonidovich 25.Рахунек Карел 25.Rahunek Karel 26.Сидоров Евгений Владимирович 26.Sidorov Evgeny 27.Скрастиньш Карлис Мартинович 27.Skrastinsh Karlis Martinovic 28.Снурницын Павел Сергеевич 28.Snurnitsyn Pavel 29.Собченко Даниил Евгеньевич Daniel E. 29.Sobchenko 30.Ткаченко Иван Леонидович 30.Tkachenko Ivan Leonidovich 31.Траханов Павел Сергеевич 31.Trahanov Pavel 32.Урычев Юрий Олегович Yuri O. 32.Urychev 33.Чурилов Геннадий Станиславович 33.Churilov Gennady S. 34.Шувалов Максим Алексеевич 34.Shuvalov Maxim A. 35.Ярчук Артем Николаевич 35.Yarchuk Artem Nikolaevich

Экипаж: Crew:

36.Соломенцев Андрей анатольевич, командир 36.Solomentsev Andrey, Commander 37.Живелов Игорь Константинович, 2-ой пилот 37.Zhivelov Igor Konstantinovich, second pilot 38.Журавлев Сергей Васильевич, бортмеханих 38.Zhuravlev Sergey, bortmehanih 39.Сарматова Елена Александровна, бортпроводник 39.Sarmatova Elena, flight attendant 40.Максумова Надежда Мурзафаровна, бортпроводник 40.Maksumova Hope Murzafarovna, flight attendant 41.Шавина Елена Михайловна, бортпроводник 41.Shavina Elena, flight attendant 42.Матюшин Владимир Юрьевич, бортмеханик 42.Matyushin Vladimir Yurevich, flight engineer

Survivors:

Сизов Александр Борисович, бортпроводник Sizov, Alexander B., flight attendant

Галимов Александр Сергеевич (в больнице) Galimov Alexander (in hospital)

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#38 Oilcruzer
September 07 2011, 11:07AM
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Ruslai Salei is not on that list - many conflicting reports.

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#39 ALL THE WAY IN
September 07 2011, 11:17AM
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The saddest off-season in hockey history. I was always a fan of Pavol Demitra. This is just sad.

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#40 Spaceman Spiff
September 07 2011, 11:39AM
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Very, very sad story. Condolences go out to all of the players and their families.

It's terrible that it takes a tragedy like this to conjure up old memories but I got to thinking back about Brad McCrimmon and how much I hated him during his days in Calgary (and Philly, for that matter).

McCrimmon was an excellent defensive defenceman - and tough ... boy was he tough. Kind of dirty-tough (he was a bit of a stick-guy), like Craig Muni, but definitely a warrior.

This has been an awful summer.

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#41 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
September 07 2011, 12:03PM
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Seems hard to believe that an aircraft flying at half of the capacity could be too heavy. What a difficult yr its been for the NHL and it's exended family. When it rains, it pours. Prayers for the lives that have been changed forever.

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#42 DJ Dynasty Handbag
September 07 2011, 12:05PM
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according to @SlavaMalamud - NA correspondent for Sports-Express

"The crashed plane was forbidden to use the European Union airspace, deemed too unsafe by the European Air Safety Commission"

what a complete and utter tragedy. RIP

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#43 everton fc
September 07 2011, 12:16PM
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A few more former NHLers...

Alexander Karpotsev... Igor Korolev...

Apparently Salei was on the plane...

And Garmilov, the only player to survive, is burned over 90% of his body, including his respiratory system. He's in a coma, and not expected to survive.

What an incredible, sad tragedy. McCrimmon was also one of my faves...

Keeping all players, crew and families in my prayers....

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#44 mayorpoop
September 07 2011, 12:20PM
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my condolences to all affected in tragedies this summer in the world of hockey :(

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#45 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
September 07 2011, 12:26PM
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Wow, just... wow.

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#46 Vintage Flame
September 07 2011, 12:29PM
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@everton fc

"And Garmilov, the only player to survive, is burned over 90% of his body, including his respiratory system. He's in a coma, and not expected to survive."

Apparently he died in surgery.. RIP.

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#47 Dog Train
September 07 2011, 12:30PM
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Unbelievable. We barely finishing mourning these tragedies by the time that another one pops up. My thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of anybody who was on that plane.

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#48 Crooked
September 07 2011, 12:42PM
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Horrible news. Hopefully measures are taken so another incident like this never happens again. Tragic.

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#49 everton fc
September 07 2011, 12:47PM
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@Vintage

Yep - just read about Garmilov's passing...

Words fail, hey?

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#50 smiliegirl15
September 07 2011, 12:51PM
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My cousin was friends with Brad McCrimmon and my brothers bought a swather from him long ago. He came from a very good family. What a tragic summer. Condolences to all.

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