Absolutely terrible news out of Russia today, as it is now confirmed that a Russian jet carrying the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team on board crashed shortly after takeoff, killing almost all on board. Current reports indicate that a crew member survived but was very badly burned. Of those killed includes former NHL'er and Lokomotiv head coach Brad McCrimmon, former NHL star Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Jan Marek, and former Islander Josef Vasicek.
AT: I think we can officially call this the worst offseason in the history of not just the NHL, but hockey in general. On a plane that was 3 weeks from being decommissioned. What can you even say about this? I'm at a total loss of words. After 3 tragic deaths from enforcers this year, we're hit with an event like this where an entire team consisting of mostly younger players is killed. This is easily one of the darkest moments in the history of sports, and especially hockey. All I can say now at this moment is that my heart go out to all the passionate fans of Lokomotiv, to all of the family and friends of the victims in the flight, and to all NHL fans or fans around the world who had a connection to a player lost on the flight, much like Islander fans did with Josef Vasicek. With a tragedy like this, the mourning process and acceptance of it is going to be difficult. Yet, as the saying goes, time heals all wounds. Lokomotiv will rebuild and these players will be forever remembered, much like when the US Figure Skating team lost it's entire roster in the 1961 crash. The only thing left to say is that I hope all of the players lost rest in peace. This was a shock to the world, and you are all in our hearts.