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Former Devils Perish In KHL Plane Crash


The hockey news surrounding us this past month will continue to be gloomy. This morning, a plane carrying the KHL hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed to the ground, killing 43 people on board.

Two former Devils, and a few other former NHL stars were on board the plane, and sadly perished. Devils prospect Alexander Vasyunov has passed away at the age of 23. Karel Rachunek has also perished at the age of 32.

Devil’s GM Lou Lamoriello issued this statement about both former players:

“Nothing could prepare the hockey community for the devastating news it received today. The tragic plane crash involving Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League has left all of us beyond words.

I had the pleasure of knowing several members of the team, plus the entire coaching staff. In particular, Alexander Vasyunov, who played for us last season, was an outstanding young man and a gifted athlete. Captain Karel Rachunek skated for us in 2007-08. Both were members of the Devils family.

On behalf of the entire Devils organization, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the entire Lokomotiv club.”

Vasyunov had a short stint with the Devils, registering only 18 games with the team. His time spent in Albany proved to be a bit more fruitful. He had a large upside to him when he was able to mature into a more rounded winger. After learning that he would not make the Devils this year, Vasyunov took his talents to the KHL.

Rachunek played one season with the Devils where he registered 13 points. He has also played for the Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers of the NHL and the Dynamo Moscow of the KHL in his prime.

Among the other that have lost their lives include Karlis Skrastins, Pavol Demitra, Stefan Liv and head coach Brad McCrimmon. There are also conflicting reports about whether Ruslan Salei was on the plane that crashed. His name has been put on list that label him as deceased, while others believe he may have already reached the planes destination.

Another sad day in the hockey world. One can only wish the NHL season would start sooner to take the devistation off both the players minds and the fans minds. Prayers and thoughts are with those who have been affected.



Filed in: NHL Teams, New Jersey Devils, David Pavlak, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com