A plane crash in Russia today has killed almost everyone on KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslav. 43 of 45 people died, including ex-Senators Pavol Demitra and Karel Rachunek. The crash occurred right after takeoff for a flight to Minsk for a game tomorrow night.
According to Yahoo sports, everyone from the main roster was on the plane plus four players from the youth team. Lokomotiv officials said the entire team was on the plane because they were traveling for the 1st game of the season, a celebration.
All but one player - Alexander Galimov - and a crew member survived.
Another player with Senators' ties was Vitaly Anikeyenko, who was drafted 70th overall by the Sens in 2005.
Other familiar players killed in the crash include:
- Longtime NHL defenceman Brad McCrimmon, who signed on in May in hopes of realizing a dream to be an NHL head coach some day.
- Josef Vasicek who won a Cup with Carolina in 2006.
- Former Leaf Igor Korolev and ex-Ranger Alexander Karpovtsev were the team's assistant coaches.
- Ruslan Salei who played 917 games in the NHL, including last year in Detroit.
- Karlis Skrastins who played over 800 games in the NHL.
- Alexander Vasyunov played 18 games for the New Jersey Devils last season.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has sent his transport minister to the site of the crash, 15 kilometres east of Yaroslavl. The short- and medium-range Yak-42 has been in service since 1980 and dozens are still in service with Russian and other airlines.
In June, another Russian passenger jet crashed in the northwestern city of Petrozavodsk, killing 47 people. The crash of that Tu-134 plane has been blamed on pilot error. President Dmitry Medvedev has announced plans to take aging Soviet-built planes out of service starting next year.
Horrible news. Horrible day for hockey. Worst NHL summer ever.
(with files from yahoo.com)