Shocking news this morning as it was announced that a plane carrying an entire KHL hockey team had crashed, killing all but 1 member of the team. Yaroslavl Lokomotiv was one of the top teams in what is generally regarded as the best hockey league in the world, except for the NHL. 9 former NHL players died, including one Canadian - long time NHL defenceman and assistant coach Brad McCrimmon, who won a Stanley Cup in 1989 as part of the Calgary Flames. I met Brad back in 1989, amazingly enough, at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, after a Flames morning practice. Brad had just moved to Russia to take on his first job as head coach of a pro hockey team. How sadly ironic that he dies one day before coaching in his first official game.
Also dead include several NHLers who I watched play live at one point or another: former Toronto Maple Leafs Igor Korolev and Alexander Karpotsev, 2010 Olympic scoring leader and 3 time NHL all star game participant Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek, and 2006 Stanley Cup winner Josef Vacicek.
I recorded the following video to reflect upon this tragedy: