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The NHL And Teams Offer Condolences To Those Killed In The Air Tragedy

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.”


Devils President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello on Wednesday released a statement regarding the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash:

“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.”

The Los Angeles Kings organization is deeply saddened with the tragic news of this morning’s plane crash in Russia that was carrying the members of the KHL’s Lokomotiv organization, including former Kings forward Pavol Demitra, former Kings prospect Jan Marek and many other members of the NHL Family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the family and friends of those affected by this terrible occurrence.

RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today issued the following statement about the plane crash in Russia, which took the lives of former Hurricanes player Josef Vasicek and former Hartford Whaler Brad McCrimmon, among other members of Lokomotiv of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

“We are deeply saddened to learn of today’s tragedy in Russia,” said Rutherford. “Josef was an key part of the Hurricanes for six years, helping us achieve some of our greatest successes. More importantly, he was a great teammate on and off the ice, and was respected as a person as well as a player.

“Brad McCrimmon was a member of our team while we were still in Hartford, and was well-liked by all who came in contact with him. His presence in the hockey community will be greatly missed.

“Our thoughts and prayers go to the Vasicek and McCrimmon families, and the loved ones of all of today’s victims.”

Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Canucks issued the following statement today on the sudden passing of former Canucks forward Pavol Demitra:

“It is with great sadness that we learn of the sudden passing of Pavol Demitra and his colleagues of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey club today. Pavol was dedicated and passionate about his young family and the game of hockey. Pavol was a valued teammate and member of our organization and will be sorely missed. We send our deepest condolences to the entire Demitra family and their friends so affected by this tragedy.”

The Minnesota Wild organization joins the rest of the hockey world in mourning the tragedy involving the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey club. Pavol Demitra was a valuable member of our team for two seasons and helped the Wild claim its first-ever Northwest Division title in 2008. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Demitra family as well as all of the families that lost loved ones today.

ST. LOUIS – Blues President John Davidson has issued the following statement regarding the tragic plane crash in Russia.
“On behalf of the St. Louis Blues, we are deeply saddened by the tragedy that took place today in Russia involving the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey club. The entire hockey community has been affected by this news and our most heart-felt condolences go out to the families of those who perished.”

“The St. Louis Blues have lost two members of our family, Pavol Demitra and Igor Korolev, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families as well.  Pavol and Igor were both incredibly passionate and dedicated players and their influence in St. Louis was not only felt on the ice, but throughout the community.”

The Anaheim Ducks released the following statement today regarding the passing of Ruslan Salei:

“The Anaheim Ducks organization is shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Ruslan Salei. ‘Rusty’ was a fan favorite and dedicated member of the Orange County community since being drafted by Anaheim in 1996. Our thoughts and prayers go to his wife and three children, along with all of the other members of the hockey community affected by this horrible tragedy.”

DENVER – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club released the following statement regarding this morning’s plane crash carrying the Lokomotiv KHL hockey team. 

“The entire Colorado Avalanche organization is deeply saddened by this morning’s horrific news regarding the Kontinental Hockey League’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl,” said President Pierre Lacroix. 

“Moreover, we are all in a state of shock regarding the deaths of former Avalanche defensemen Karlis Skrastins and Ruslan Salei.  Our thoughts and prayers go out their families as well as those involved in this devastating incident.”

“I am still in disbelief about today’s tragic news,” said Executive Advisor/Alternate Governor Joe Sakic.  “Both Karlis and Ruslan were unbelievable individuals and great teammates.  They will be sorely missed.  My condolences go out to their families and all those affected in this tragedy.”

Nashville, Tenn. (Sept. 7, 2011) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile issued the following statement this afternoon:

“The Nashville Predators’ organization shares the pain and suffering being felt throughout the hockey world today following the tragic plane crash in Russia involving the team Lokomotiv Yaraslavl. Included on the team were two former Predators’ players – Karlis Skrastins and Josef Vasicek – along with Robert Dietrich, a 2007 draft choice who played two seasons in Milwaukee and remained on the club’s reserve list.

“On behalf of the organization and our fans, our hearts and prayers go out to the families and friends of all the passengers on board. Karlis, Josef and Robert all made contributions to our organization, for which we will forever be grateful. They were all playing the game they love, had so much more to offer and have left us far too soon. We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to their families at this most difficult time.”

TAMPA BAY – Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman made the follow statement regarding today’s tragic events in Yaroslavl, Russia:

“The thoughts and prayers of the entire Lightning organization go out to the family and friends of those involved in the tragic plane crash today in Yaroslavl, Russia.  Even though it was thousands of miles away, today’s events touched the hearts of our management, coaching staff and players.  Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Yaroslavl community as well as the KHL.

“On a personal note, hockey lost a great individual today in my former teammate and colleague, Brad McCrimmon.  My deepest condolences go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.”

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney issued the following statement regarding the tragic plane crash in Russia today.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragedy that took place today in Russia involving the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (KHL) hockey club.

“On behalf of the entire Phoenix Coyotes organization, we would like to express our sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of those who perished.

“The Coyotes lost two members of our family in Brad McCrimmon and Igor Korolev, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families as well. Brad and Igor were part of the Coyotes inaugural season in the Valley and we will forever remember the great contributions they made to our community on and off the ice. They will be greatly missed.”

SAN JOSE - San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson today released the following statement:

“We are very saddened to report that the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry has published a list stating that Sharks prospect Daniil Sobchenko was aboard the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane that crashed today in Yaroslavl, Russia.  Daniil attended our development camp this past July and everyone on our staff agreed that he had a bright future with our organization.  He was an amazing person with a fun-loving personality and his attitude and energy during his time in San Jose was infectious.  Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.

“This is a difficult day for the hockey world.  Many people in our organization had existing relationships with other Lokomotiv players, coaches and staff members.  We send our sincere condolences to their families as well.”


Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: khl, lokomotiv



wow….just wow….rusty was a great personality and I am shocked to learn Pavol was on the plane he was one of the greatest play makers the game has known R.I.P.

Posted by mike on 09/07/11 at 07:10 PM ET

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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.

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