The Czech hockey league said Monday it will postpone its scheduled opening day from Friday to Sunday due to the funeral of one of three Czech victims of last week's plane crash in Russia that killed 44 people, most of whom were associated with the Yaroslval Lokomotiv team in the KHL.
, Jan Marek
and Josef Vasicek
were among 37 players, coaches and team staff killed last week when their plane crashed shortly after takeoff en route to their first game of the season. The Czech league said the start of the season will be postponed because of Marek's funeral Friday in the town of Jindrichuv Hradec.
Rachunek will be buried Wednesday in Zlin, while Vasicek's funeral is scheduled for Thursday in Havlickuv Brod.
All three helped the Czech national team win gold medals at the 2005 and 2010 World Championship.
The KHL began its season Monday, five days after its scheduled opening day. The league announced Saturday that Lokomotiv will not field a team this season.