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Hockey world reacts to KHL plane crash

NHL.com @NHL
A sampling of reactions around the NHL to the plane crash that killed at least 43 people, most of whom were members of Yaroslavl Lokomotiv of the KHL:

"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." -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman

"We will do our best to ensure that hockey in Yaroslavl does not die, and that it continues to live for the people that were on that plane." -- Russian Ice Hockey Federation President and Hall of Fame goaltender Vladislav Tretiak

"Obviously, it's a tough day around here. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to the family. You're concerned. We know his kids well. He's a good man. Real big part of our organization here." -- Detroit coach Mike Babcock; Lokomotiv coach Brad McCrimmon, who died in the crash, was an assistant with the Wings for the past three seasons

"I was told this morning when we were working out; Pavel Datsyuk came in and said there's a plane that went down somewhere in Russia and believed to be a hockey team on there. We haven't heard any confirmation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and we're hoping for the best, but we don't know anything right now.'' ­-- Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who played with McCrimmon as a rookie

"These things hit you like a ton of bricks. You do your best to deal with them and move on. Right now, we're talking with our different teammates and trying to come to grips with the reality that 'The Beast' is no longer on this Earth." -- Ex-Calgary forward Jim Peplinski, a former teammate of McCrimmon with the Flames

"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." -- New Jersey Devils president and GM Lou Lamoriello

"Karlis was one of those guys who would do anything for his team. He worked hard and never complained about anything. He was a really nice guy and great family man. There isn't a single bad thing to say about him." -- Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas on the loss of former teammate Karlis Skrastins

"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." -- Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk on Skrastins' death

"It's tough, because yesterday they were alive and today they're not. It's very, very tough" -- former New York Islanders captain Alexei Yashin, who spent the past four years in the KHL and played for Lokomotiv from 2007-09

"I think I knew 80 percent of the team. Either I played with them or I played against them. You see each other in different tournaments. Some of them you're really close with, or some them you just say 'hi' and have a couple of laughs with. It struck me when I found out. I was at breakfast and reading the Russian newspapers and all of a sudden, it popped up. It's almost like you don't want to believe something like that. It's tough. You have chills and you just hope that the families will find the strength to fight through something like that." -- New York Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, a Russian who played in the KHL last season

"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." -- Jim Rutherford, Carolina Hurricanes president and GM, on former Hurricanes forward Josef Vasicek

"He was one of my best buddies. He was in my wedding. I can't believe this" -- Columbus defenseman Radek Martinek, a boyhood friend and former teammate of Vasicek with the Islanders
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