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Hockeytown Chat: Lokomotiv Yaroslavl

Reaction to the plane crash in Russia involving the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

Hello my fellow Wing-Nuts and hockey fans.

I was planning on writing another Player Spotlight, but given the recent tragedy in Russia involving the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and three former members of the Red Wings, I have decided to write this instead.

When I first heard the news my first initial thoughts were, "Why did this happen and why, once again, does something bad involve the Wings?" For me this brought up the memory from the limo crash in 1997, which ended the career of Vladimir Konstantinov who was by far one of the greatest brute force defensemen the Wings have ever had.

But once I took off the Wing-Nut hat and put on the Hockey Fan hat, I then realized, this plane crash didn't just affect the Wings, but every team and not just those of the various leagues, but the entire hockey community. The one thing that makes hockey players different is they are "enemies" when on the ice, but friends when off. Yes, I can name a few players who most likely are still disliked when off the ice, but if something were to happen to them, I'm sure there'd be players singing their praises. It is my hope that somewhere out there, there are a bunch of men and women creating Lokomotiv Yaroslavl remembrance patches to add to every teams jersey for this season. And sadly, if that doesn't happen, then I am sure the Wings will do something to honor Brad McCrimmon, Ruslan Salei, and Stefan Liv. At the very least, McCrimmon's family and Salei's family will be taken very well cared of by the organization.

McCrimmon, played for 18 seasons; 3 of which were with the Red Wings. He was most recently an assistant coach for the Wings. He signed as head coach for Lokomotiv, it was his desire to one day become a head coach for the NHL. He was 52.

Salei, played for 14 seasons; last season with the Wings. When he wasn't given a contract extention for this coming season he signed a deal with Lokomotiv. He was 36.

Liv, was drafted by the Wings in 2000 and signed to a one year deal back in 2006.  He played for the Grand Rapids Griffins that year, and was called up as a back-up goalie for two weeks in November, but never saw any NHL action. After that year was up he returned to the Swedish Elite League. He was 30.

The other former NHL players involved in the crash includes: Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skrastins, Josef Vasicek, Alexander Vasyunov, Alex Karpovtsev, Igor Korolev.

There has been a lot of tragedy for the sport as a whole long before the season has started. And it is my hope, as an overall fan of hockey, that every one of these players is given special recognition. May they all rest in peace.

I leave you a link to nhl.com to a video tribute that they have created: http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=35&id=122451 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mariam Charara September 13, 2011 at 02:13 AM
It was heart-breaking to hear such news. My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their lives. And I agree, I'm sure even the worst enemies i.e. D-mac/ Claude Lemieux (Just keeping it Red Wings here) are cordial off the ice. All I know is pre-season starts in a couple weeks, and I'm going through some serious hockey withdrawls. I'm ready for this season!
John McKay September 13, 2011 at 04:56 AM
McCarty and Lemieux have been known to make appearances together. The hockey code of conduct seems to indicate that even if you get into a violent fight on the ice, you can still get a beer with the guy afterwards. Leave it on the ice.
Kathryn Preiss September 15, 2011 at 03:20 PM
The McCarty/Lemieux friendship is the perfect example of what makes Hockey players different. You don't hear the players making bad comments about one another in the media *cough: Kobe Bryant/Shaq O'Neal; the entire Cleveland Cavaliers team and Lebron James: cough* Sure there was probably bad things said at the time of Lemieux's body slam on Draper, and when McCarty turned Lemieux into the biggest turtle to ever grace the ice of JLA, but as John said, they leave it on the ice. And Mariam, I too am counting the days. Hockey withdrawls aren't fun!

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