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Stars honor Skrastins in pre-game ceremony

by Steve Hunt
DALLAS --The Dallas Stars honored a fallen former teammate on Saturday afternoon.

Karlis Skrastins, who played in Dallas from 2009-2011, was honored before the club's game against the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center. Skrastines was among those killed when a plane carrying Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL crashed last September.

"Obviously it was really tough to see his family, first time for me to get to see them after the tragedy. It was pretty emotional," Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas said. "It was a nice gesture by the Stars honoring Skratch. I think we kind of dedicated our season right from the get go (to his memory). We all know he played with heart and passion. He was the kind of guy that never complained. He was just willing to do anything for his teammates."

After Stars television play-by-play announcer Ralph Strangis gave some opening remarks, the club played a tribute video narrated by broadcast partner Daryl Reaugh.

Skrastins' widow and three daughters then made their way to the ice along with Dallas general manager Joe Nieuwendyk and club president Jim Lites. The Stars have started a trust fund for the Skrastins children, which the players will contribute to. Owner Tom Gaglardi announced he would match any contributions the Stars players made to the fund.

Dallas captain Brenden Morrow, Steve Ott and Stephane Robidas then presented flowers to Skrastins' widow and two oldest daughters. Then, Morrow and Flames captain Jarome Iginla joined Skrastins' oldest daughters for a ceremonial puck drop at center ice.
The Stars have been wearing a No. 37 decal on the back of their helmets all season to honor Skrastins' memory.
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