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NHL players and teams honor crash victims

NHL.com @NHL
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov will be among those attending Saturday's services for the 43 victims who died in the plane crash involving the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.

The memorial ceremony will be held at the team's arena in Yaroslavl, about 150 miles from Moscow.

Varlamov's connection is closer than most -- the 23-year-old Russian played for Lokomotiv from 2006-08 before joining the Washington Capitals. However, Lokomotiv retained his European rights, and there was talk of him returning to the team before the Caps dealt Varlamov to the Avs this summer and he signed a three-year contract to play in Colorado.

There will also be a memorial for Lokomotiv and former Avs defensemen Ruslan Salei and Karlis Skrastins, who died in the crash, on Saturday at the Pepsi Center.

Fans in other cities continue to pay tribute to the victims as well.

A few dozen fans created a makeshift memorial at the entrance to the BankAtlantic Center on Thursday night in honor of the three former Florida Panthers -- Skrastins, Salei and Alexander Karpovtsev -- who died in the crash, as well as ex-Panther Wade Belak, who was found dead in a Toronto condo on Aug. 31. The Panthers say they will honor the all four players in the coming weeks.

A number of fans will gather Friday at 5 p.m. ET at Championship Plaza, across the street from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., for a memorial to the victims of the crash. Former New Jersey defenseman Karel Rachunek was killed, as was Alexander Vasyunov, who played with the Devils last season before signing a one-year deal with Lokomotiv this summer.
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