DENVER (AP) - The Colorado Avalanche gathered with heavy hearts Friday as they began training camp more than a week after the plane crash in Russia that claimed the lives of two of their former teammates.
Ruslan Salei and Karlis Skrastins were among the 37 players, coaches and staff of Russia's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey club who died when their jet crashed on the way to their first game of the season.
Colorado forward Paul Stastny was roommates with Skrastins for several seasons.
The tragedy hit close to home for new Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, who played in the Yaroslavl system before joining the Washington Capitals.
The Avalanche will honor Salei and Skrastins when they open the season Oct. 8 against the Detroit Red Wings.