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Russian pro hockey team wiped out in plane crash

By Sports WKTV

YAROSLAV, RUSSIA (WKTV) – According to various reports out of Russia, a Kontinential Hockey League team has perished in the crash of a plane Wednesday. NHL.com reports that, according to Sov Sport, a website that covers sports in Russia, the entire main roster of the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslav was on the plane. Among those on the roster were Pavel Demitra, a veteran of 12 seasons in the NHL, and Head Coach Brad McCrimmon, who played 18 seasons in the NHL.

Lokomotiv was one of the top teams in the KHL last season, finishing first in their division and lost in six games in the conference finals. The team was on its way to play Dinamo Minsk in the KHL season opener on Thursday. Former NHL goalie and current Westmoreland resident Robert Esche played for the Dinamo Minsk team last season. Esche is playing in the Swiss elite league this season.

Reports from Russia indicate that the plane, an older model Russian built jet, may have caught fire and crashed shortly after taking off at the Central Russian city of Yaroslav, near the Volga River. 44 people are said to have been killed in the crash. It is reported that at least one and possibly two people survived the crash. One of the two survivors are said to be a member of the flight crew. The other survivor may be Right Wing Alexander Galimov.

Pavel Demitra played for St. Louis, Los Angeles, Minnesota and Vamncounver in the NHL. He won the Lady Byng Award in 1990 for sportsmanship. Also on the Locomotiv roster and believed on the flight were; Swedish Olympic goaltender Stefan Liv, Ruslan Salei, who played with Anaheim, Florida, Colorado and Detroit for all or part of 15 seasons in the NHL and Czech born Josef Vasicek, who had his name added to the Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006 in his six seasons in the NHL.


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