Following the tragic plane crash of the Kontinental Hockey League's Lokomotiv in Yaroslavl, Russia that claimed the life of former Flyers defenseman Brad McCrimmon as well as the entire team roster, Comcast-Spectacor Chairman and Flyers founder Ed Snider released the following statement:
“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.”
Comcast-Spectacor President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Luukko also released a statement:
"It is a sad day for hockey. On behalf of the Philadelphia Flyers, we are all saddened to hear of this tragedy in Russia. We would like to send our thoughts and prayers to the families of the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv hockey team. In particular, we remember Brad McCrimmon, who was part of the greatest defensive duo in the history of our club. He was an outstanding defenseman and one of the greatest to ever wear the orange and black. He will sorely be missed."
Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren also remembered McCrimmon:
"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."
McCrimmon played defense for the Flyers starting with the 1982-83 season through the 1986-87 season. He ranks ninth all-time in Flyers history among defensemen with 187 points, recording 35 goals and 152 assists as well as 355 penalty minutes in 367 games in a Flyers sweater
In 1985, McCrimmon was awarded the Barry Ashbee Trophy after being named the most outstanding Flyers defenseman as selected by a panel of sportswriters and sportscasters.
During the 1985-86 season he posted 13 goals and 43 assists for 56 points in 80 games to rank second among all Flyers defensemen in scoring that year. He also posted a plus-minus rating of plus-83 and was one of two Flyers to appear in all 80 regular season games.
He was acquired by the Flyers via trade on June 9, 1982 in exchange for goaltender Pete Peeters from the Boston Bruins.
McCrimmon was named the head coach of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League on May 29, 2011 after serving as an assistant coach on the Detroit Red Wings for the last three seasons.Russian native Ilya Bryzgalov on the tragedy:
“It’s a tragedy. I know a lot of guys on that team and it’s a big loss. It doesn’t matter which country it happens in. We’re all people and we understand what kind of tragedy this is… It’s different when old people die, but when young people die in sudden death it’s tough to accept. They were young people full of life with opportunities in front of them and most of them have young kids.”NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman also released the following statement:
"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.”