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NHL teams react to KHL tragedy

Wednesday, 09.07.2011 / 1:05 PM / News

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NHL teams react to KHL tragedy
As news of the plane crash in Russia emerged Wednesday, NHL teams sent messages of sympathy and shock: Here are some of the many outpourings from NHL clubs.
As news of the plane crash in Russia emerged Wednesday, NHL teams sent messages of sympathy and shock. Here are some of the many outpourings from NHL clubs.

Carolina Hurricanes President / General Manager, Jim Rutherford:

"We are deeply saddened to learn of today’s tragedy in Russia. Josef was a 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."

Los Angeles Kings:


"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."

New Jersey Devils
President / CEO / General Manager, Lou Lamoriello:

"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."

Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk

"The Dallas Stars family is shocked and saddened by the passing of Karlis Skrastins and so many other young lives in a plane crash in Russia today. Our thoughts and prayers are with Karlis’ wife Zane and his two daughters, Karolina and Laurena, as well as all of the families and friends who lost loved ones on the plane. Karlis was a wonderful father and husband, as well as a good friend. He will be greatly missed.”

Chicago Blackhawks

"We stand together with the entire KHL, NHL and hockey world in mourning today’s tragic news concerning the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team. The tragedy affects the Chicago Blackhawks family directly as we mourn the losses of Alexander Karpovtsev and Igor Korolev, two players who spent time with our organization and that our fans know well. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl organization."

Vancouver Canucks

"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."

St. Louis Blues President John Davidson

"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."

Calgary Flames

"It's with heavy hearts that we mourn the tragic loss of another member of the Flames Family today and everyone who lost their lives in this morning's plane crash in western Russia. Brad was a true representative of the Flames organization. His leadership, hard work, character and love for his family, teammates, his community and the game of hockey were evident in his daily life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Brad and his family and the families of all those who lost their loved ones in this terrible accident."

Anaheim Ducks

"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."

Winnipeg Jets

"We join together with the entire hockey community to mourn the tragedy that occurred earlier today. We would like to express our sincerest sympathies to the friends and family of former Winnipeg Jet Igor Korolev and former Brandon Wheat King Brad McCrimmon, as well as the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl organization."

Colorado Avalanche President Pierre Lacroix

"The entire Colorado Avalanche organization is deeply saddened by this morning’s horrific news regarding the Kontinental Hockey League’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. 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."

Colorado Avalanche Executive Advisor / Alternate Governor Joe Sakic

"I am still in disbelief about today’s tragic news. 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."

Minnesota Wild

"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."

Boston Bruins President Cam Neely

"On behalf of the Bruins organization I would like to express our deepest condolences to all the families and friends who lost loved ones today. I would like to express our sorrow to the McCrimmon family who lost a husband and father. Brad will always be a part of the Bruins family and will live on in all of our memories."

New York Islanders General Manager Garth Snow

"The entire New York Islanders organization is saddened by the confirmed reports of the devastating plane crash involving the Kontinental Hockey League club, Lokomotiv. Our hearts and prayers go out to all the families that lost loved ones on that flight. Three members of the Islanders family were passengers, including former assistant coach Brad McCrimmon, defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev and forward Josef Vasicek. We send our deepest sympathies to everyone who has been affected by this tragic event."

Philadelphia Flyers Founder / Comcast-Spectator Chairman Ed Snider

"I’m personally saddened to hear of the tragic death of one of our former players, Brad McCrimmon, and his team. Brad was one of the toughest defensemen to ever wear the orange and black. He gained the nickname ‘the beast’ for his tenacity on the blue line and his ability to shut down our opponents. Off the ice, Brad was a true gentleman. He was a kind, caring and wonderful human being. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, as well as the families of those who lost their lives in this tragedy."

Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren


"The Philadelphia Flyers are saddened by the loss of Brad McCrimmon today. He was a terrific player for us for a number of years. Brad was also a good teammate and a wonderful friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Maureen, their daughter, Carlin, and son, Liam, and their family at this very difficult time."

Florida Panthers

"The entire Florida Panthers organization is deeply shocked and saddened after learning about today’s plane crash involving the Kontinental Hockey League’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey club, which included the loss of former Florida Panthers Alexander Karpovtsev, Ruslan Salei and Karlis Skrastins. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those families who have lost loved ones in this tragic and unfortunate accident."

Nashville Predators President / General Manager David Poile


"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 Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman

"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."

Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney


"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 Sharks Executive Vice President / General Manager Doug Wilson


"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."

New York Rangers President / General Manager Glen Sather

"The New York Rangers organization is greatly saddened after learning of today's tragedy. Words cannot begin to express the magnitude of devastation for such unimaginable loss. Two Rangers alumni and one former draft pick perished in the accident. Alexander Karpotsev helped to bring a Stanley Cup Championship to New York in 1994. Karel Rachunek played two seasons in New York, and Jan Marek was a former draft pick. Our sincerest condolences go out to the families of these players, and the families of all those lost today."




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