Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Hockey's Darkest Day

I had every intention of writing a full report on the new KHL season today, but clearly things are different after the tragic accident that happened today. The image to the left is all that is left of the airplane that was carrying the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team as they looked to start the KHL season in Minsk, Belarus today. 43 people are reported dead while two men are in critical condition. This is certainly the worst day in hockey's history, and this accident continues the extremely tragic summer experienced by all those involved with the game.

Amongst those who perished in the accident were Lokomotiv head coach and former NHL defenceman Brad McCrimmon, Lokomotiv assistant coach and former Ranger and Stanley Cup champion Alexander Karpovtsev, and Lokomotiv assistant coach and former Winnipeg Jet Igor Korolev. Players who were lost in the accident include former NHLers Pavol Demitra, Josef Vasicek, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skrastins, and Ruslan Salei. KHL stars like Stefan Liv and Jan Marek were also lost. 20 year-old Yuri Urychev was injured and not supposed to accompany the team to Minsk, but he wanted to cheer his teammates on. He also perished.

Flight crewman Alexander Sizov and Lokomotiv player Alexander Galimov were the only people to survive the crash, but Galimov is reportedly in critical condition with severe burns covering 80% to 90% of his body. The two men were transported to a hospital in Moscow for treatment at a highly-regarded burn unit, but the doctor treating them wasn't optimistic.

Dr. Alexander Degyatryov, chief doctor of Yaroslavl's Solovyov Hospital, stated, "The state of health of both of them is very grave. But there is still some hope."

Personally, I am saddened for this loss of life. Combined with the loss of Boogaard, Rypien, and Belak, the hockey world has suffered incredible tragedy this summer. My heart goes out to the families and friends of all the Lokomotiv players and coaches who lost their lives in this horrible accident today, and my thoughts are with you and yours today.

Until next time, let's a give a moment of silence for this tragic loss.

No comments: