Tragic summer gets worse for hockey; Russian team plane crashes


Here is one story from

Here is another from USA Today.

Follow Russian reporter Dmitry Chesnokov’s twitter reports: @dchesnokov.

Among the well-known former NHLers believed to be on the aircraft were Pavol Demitra, who was a close friend of the Rangers’ Marian Gaborik, former Ranger Karel Rachunek, and possibly assistant coach Alexander Karpovtsev, who was a member of the Rangers’ 1994 Stanley Cup team.

Brad McCrimmon, the former Flyers defenseman, was the team’s head coach and also believed to have perished in the crash, according to reports.

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  1. What a horrific tragedy. Some notable players were on that team:

    Ruslan Selei
    Pavol Dimitra
    Josef Vasicek
    Karel Rach?nek (former Ranger and was the captain)

    Prayers and thoughts are with Russia today….

  2. Unfortunately, Locomotiv administration has confirmed that the entire main roster, plus four players from the youth team, were on the plane. There are unconfirmed reports, however, that Ruslan Salei, a veteran defenseman, was in Minsk, Belarus, awaiting the arrival of the team. The Locomotiv roster was full of players with NHL ties.

  3. Doodie Machetto on

    Any word on the coaching staff? Former Red Wings assistant McCrimmon is the head coach and former Ranger Alexander Karpovtsev is an assistant.

  4. Noah, Associate Assistant Alternative Captain on

    Just spent a few minutes trying to figure out what to say…and couldn’t.

    Shaking my head.

  5. I think South America actually has the worst air safety record. Russia seems to be the worst though (maybe they just have more “high profile” crashes).

  6. CBS says multiple reports state that Alexander Karpovtsev was on the flight. Just terrible.

    I blame the Russians. Their planes and safety procedures are questionable at best and atrocious in some instances, especially for in-country flights. They have probably two flights a year that just drop out of the sky and are invariably blamed on pilot error.

    International flights are regulated and are generally safer.

  7. I just sat here for a minute after reading this with my mouth open….I just don’t know what to say….thoughts of God (whoever’s your might be) and prayer are the only thing in my mind. I just can’t believe it. Take a moment and say a prayer for the families involved and then take another to pray for the NHL so they can shake whatever it is that has cast this black cloud over the hockey world. Please just say a pray!!

  8. There are reports that Salei was not on the plane…And the latest is that Galimov (the only survivor from the crash) has died. Unconfirmed, but reported.

  9. According to the widget, Galimov sustained 80% burn to his body…That usually is bad news. It’s just keep getting worse.

  10. i understand that tragedies like that do happen (more often than not in Russia) but if i was a borderline NHLer, i would take less money to play in NA after this.

  11. I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves….but I need a break from thinking about how unbelievably horrendous this news is. Does anyone know what happens to the team now? Do they forfeit the whole season?

  12. Is Salei was on the plane that means there were NO survivors on the entire team? That is absolutely insane. I cannot even wrap my head around this.

  13. The Rangers were just remembering those who fell on 9/11 and now this……….what a hellish off season, and terrible way to start the new season.

  14. I’m not comparing 9/11 for those who thought I might be…..but just the pain that goes right to your heart for the Ranger players, and to some of those who might have known some of the players. Like Anisimov, didn’t someone say he came from this team!!! Man my chest hurts just trying to put this all in perspective. (maybe not the right word, but at a loss)

  15. Last news: preliminary investigation – plane hit a beacon antenna on the end of takeoff tarmac due to a technical error. There where 45 people on board, 37 of them – full team. 2 survived, one crew member and forward Galimov, however, latest is that he died in a hospital (had 80% burns not compatible with life). Ruslan Saley confirmed dead (it was a hope before).
    Vlad Tretyak , the head of Hockey Federation, already made a statement, pledged to re-create Lokomotive team in memory of tragic event, from young players all around Russia’s other teams.
    There is a link with photos and videos:

  16. Just saw published final official list of died in crash. 42 people. You know,* Saley is not in it!*

  17. Galimov has passed away. Confirmed by Dmitry Chesnokov of Puck Daddy via Twitter. Brad McCrimmon’s death also confirmed.

  18. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    Well this sucks…Condolences to all family, friends, and former teammates of the Lokomotive team and crew. Truly a horrible summer for Hockey (summer sucks)!!


    the previous title for your blog entry was creepy (no offence)

  19. Dear God – may their souls all rest in peace. This is the worst hockey tragedy I’ve ever heard of.

    Our condolences and prayers go out to their families and loved ones – one of our Cup winners, Alex Karpotsev, too? this is just too awful……

  20. I’m still hoping that Salei is alive. He is from Belorussia, Minsk is a capital of the country. So it makes sense for him to wait for their arrival.

  21. Here it is document in Russian : Saley is in team board manifesto and circled in it, like boarded, but not in official list of died. So strange. I have a goosebumps just to looking at it.
    On a video much shaken dispatcher, who manage them to last journey, telling that the plane didn’t have enough speed for normal takeoff.

  22. KHL channel in Russia is showing a playoff game i believe between Lokomotiv vs Atlant. Such an unreal feeling watching the game right now.

  23. This is absolutely awful, and a tragic day for hockey and for all who lost family and friends. I was digging around on some scandinavian news sites, and apparently Salei wasn’t on the flight.

  24. Its official now – Galimov died of burn wounds after few hours of operation, making list of dead to 43. Total horror.

  25. Thank you, CCCP – do they have any English subtitles? I’d be lost if it were only in Russian…

  26. Mister Delaware on

    Feel awful for Anisimov. He’s having a worse day today than I’ve ever had, and by a huge margin.

  27. Imagine what Anisimov must be going thru…… is he going to be able to play hockey? God what an awful feeling he must have.

    Prayers just for him…..everyone

  28. Thank you again, CCCP – you’re a good guy!

    I feel terrible for all the folks who knew these men who died today – so many lives are touched when just one person dies, but this is just awful. And another horrible tragedy for our Ranger family, too – with several of our ex-players and prospects on this plane. R.I.P.

  29. I hope NYR replaces their home opener festivities with a half hour moment of silence for the people that died in the crash, as well as Rypien and Belak.

    I’d rather have that then seeing that has-been Kiss guitarist that thinks he was abducted by Aliens, and/or Blue Man Group!

  30. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Awfully saddened to learn of this. Liked Rachunek and Karpovtsek a lot for the spirit and ability they brought to our organization, and felt they both moved on from New York too soon and still had a lot to contribute. The others were good people, too. Sympathies to their families.

  31. OK, CCCP…I’ll check it out.

    I must admit, I’m not remembering much about Rachunek as a Ranger – was he with the team for a very short time?

  32. This is incredibly sad. Tough times have befallen hockey, but if any professional athletes can get through these seemingly endless tragedies, it’s the men in skates. RIP.

  33. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    What a tragic day for the hockey world, the sports world, well, for the world….sometimes there are no words….

  34. What really sickens me is that while not only are some of the reporters on Waseka ignoring the plane crash and commenting on Crosby, the breaking news on ESPN is that Peyton Manning will not play Sunday.

  35. Stuff like this puts everything in perspective, doesn’t it? How tragic.

    This week is heartbreaking in so many ways, but remember: Life is too short. Don’t waste it. Live life to the fullest. Be with the people you love.

  36. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    agree with orr, latona, and broadway roe

  37. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    I know you are not leaving until tomorrow, but bon voyage to you and the mrs!!!

  38. This is just horrible. The Boogaard tragedy and now Karpovtsev, a New York Champion. Laurel, Marc is laughing at Karpovtsev passing.

  39. n.country_nyrfan on

    haven’t posted on here in awhile…but wow this is such bad news. RIP Rachunek and Karpovstev. I’ll always remember (if my memory serves me right, which it doesn’t always) when I believe Glenn Healy was in net and Karpovstev made a nice play in the d-zone and you could hear Healy yelling “way to go Potsy” over the broadcast.

  40. Mister Delaware on

    “Umm….who’s Ivan Rachunek?”

    Czech player who either was part of a name slip-up or who Havlat will be very happy to find out is alive?

  41. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    Perhaps ivan is another version or “nickname” of karel…not sure really if that is even plausible…ILB or cccp or someone shed some light on this?

  42. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    can’t imagine havlat would make that kind of error at this point

  43. Rachunek was my favorite Ranger when he was here. Solid on both sides, bomb of a slap shot when he let it go (like the goal he scored against Dallas in Dallas). Will be missed. Sad day yet again for hockey.

  44. I remember that game, Jonny. He had two goals.

    I remember someone hit Eric Lindros, and his stick was stuck between the glass, and while he was trying to take it out, the Rangers took the puck down the ice and scored.

    Remember the other game in Dallas, when we gave up 10 goals?? LOL!

    ::puts gun to head::

  45. I feel so bad for Gaby…he lost two of his best friends this summer and had just an awful year in general…

    I hope he is able to put everything behind him….

  46. I was just gonna ask if that was Forsberg. I barely recognize him without his goat!

    Yeah, Butt-Chin is having a crappy year.

    But, screw that! This should motivate him. Two of your closest friends tragically died. Have your best year in their honor!

    That’s the way you do it!

  47. ORR – good point on the moment of silence. I think perhaps the entire league should do something like that on the official opening game all over the continent – and in Europe. Thanks for that suggestion – its a good one

    This crash is absolutley awful for everyone involved in sports – not just the NHL.. It serves to remind us, the fans, of the life and risks that these players take every season. Our condolences to the entire KHL and the NHl – especially Karpovstev – what a great thrill those 94 players gave us all ….. rest in peace

  48. It’s crazy Latona. This should be the headline on all news stations. It’s insane that Crosby would get more press than this.

  49. I can’t even begin to talk about the disgusting parochialism that is putting the focus on someone who can’t even play yet, when all these men, and so many former NHL teammates, are dead. WTB!!!

    hey, tiki, as you well know, your boss is an aasen….time to get a new job :) disgusting.

  50. This summer has been one of incredible tragedies for the hockey community…but this is just unreal. I’m speechless reading about it.

    I’ll just say R.I.P. Alexander Karpovstev. You’ll always be a Ranger. Your death has just made the ’94 Stanley Cup even more bittersweet.

    What a tragedy…I feel for everyone involved who lost friends and family members. Anisimov and Gaborik losing close friends. Unreal.

  51. How do you go to their home arena anymore???? It’s been hours since I read this story and I just don’t know how to feel. They said they will replace the team with rookies or young players from all the other teams right away. Their first home game is going to be an emotional wreck waiting to happen. It’s not just the accident but what it means and how it;s intertwined into so many lives and hockey in general. Just devastating!!!

  52. Hey Carp have you heard much from the hockey world?? Has anyone said anything in particular? Besides a release of some kind just wondering if anyone had any personal words.

  53. No, Cynar. Been too busy working on non-hockey (mostly 9/11 columns) stuff. Only saw the predictable statements from the NHL/Bettman and the NHLPA/Fehr.

  54. Russian technology is the worst. Reminds me of the Kursk. Sad day – I am glad Demitra played in the Olympics, he proved he is still an elite player.

  55. according to Alexander Galimov (the only confirmed survivor at the moment) is still alive.

    rough translation:

    A source in the intensive care hospital name Solovyov denied a report about the death of hockey player from the club “Locomotive” Alexander Galimov, who was delivered to the hospital after the crash of the Yak-42.

    “No” – was the answered in intensive care at the question of whether hockey player was lost. Thus, a source at the hospital denied a report about the death of a hockey player, appeared on TV channel “Russia-24”.

  56. Matt

    i wouldn’t generalize like that. Not all Russian technology is bad. We were first people to explore the space, after all ;)

  57. Matt

    Quality control – maybe you have an argument there. But in this case, it seems to me that it was a pilot’s error. Though, we’ll have to wait for more details to come out to make a concrete conclusion.

  58. I don’t think Demitra was an elite player. He had some gas in the tank, but he couldn’t do much in the NHL.

    In his prime, he was a pretty damn good player though.

    Isn’t Jan Marek the guy we traded to LA to get Avery? Or was that Cliche?

  59. That whole Slovak team was pretty dominant in the Olympics. Demitra included. They came so close to getting a medal. They beat the Russians and almost beat Canada in the semis!

  60. I agree, ORR. I think Demitra, in his prime, was an excellent second-line center on almost any team in the league.

  61. Canada! Ugh! I hate that Canadian Olympic team. I remember when they won the Gold, the only thought that was running through my mind, aside from the obvious thought of setting a tree on fire, was, why doesn’t Getzlaf just shave his head??

    USA all the way! Get the gold in Russia!

  62. This is becoming a war of words. I’ll yield. Not elite, but had a great time watching him. He was so quick and had great vision.

  63. Just saw this on FB Ranger Nation: “The mother of Sergei Ostapchuk (Lokomotiv player who died today) has died of a heart attack upon hearing the news of his death.” Can this day get any more depressing? I think I’ll click on Orr’s name just to try and brighten the day. ;)

  64. Holy hartnell BANJ.

    I’ll just say this…hartnell the stories and coverage today. I’m glad I have a place to read/talk about this subject with like-minded people. I hope the families of everyone on board knows that people care from all over.

  65. Karpovtsev was a member of the Black Aces in ’94 (granted he played more than the others)… I can’t believe this actually happened! I worked with a lump in my throat all day reading tweets from players and hockey people from all places. This is so incredibly sad for everyone.

    Feel horrible for the friends and family of the deceased. Feel especially sorry for Arty and Gaborik. Gaborik loses two of his closest friends only months apart. Terrible!

    So sad…

    …I know this is a weird time to mention it, but I’ll be honest. The thought of George Costanza mentioning a sports team’s plane crashing entered my head… I assure you, I was not laughing, but the thought did pop in my head.



  66. absolutely terrible. i dont know about you but when i first read about this today at work i felt as if somebody had punched me in the chest and i couldnt catch my breath. it’s just sad, no other way to describe it.

  67. elite, not elite, second-line, whatever. He would have been the first-line center on last year’s Rangers, that’s for sure …
    Karpovtsev only became one of the Black Aces late in the playoffs, after Lidster stepped up when Beukeboom was suspended. Karpovtsev was a top-6 almost all of that season.

  68. yeah Carp I remember how much Karpovtsev played with the club…. I was just adding to his memory a little by mentioning the Black Aces… he was a slolid defensman. So sad this whole story… geez…

  69. So sad.

    On another note, can we please have “andyogs” removed from the twitter feed? He seems like a dunce and is pretty irrelevant.

  70. Although there may be some Europansy Slovaks, I believe that they’re some of the smartest players in the NHL. Most of them really get hockey.

  71. one has to wonder how this news affects gabby season. demitra and boogey 2 of his best friends and arty being close with half the team. im worried about gabby. just how can you translate what transpired today. im going to puke

  72. Eric, he could just as easily have an inspired, “this is for my boys” year as a depressed, can’t hit a barn year.

  73. Chris, I never wanted him there in the first place, but readers suggested I add him. He sounds like a nitwit to me. But most twitterers do.

  74. billybleedsblue on


    twitter dee and twitter dumb?

    Carp I must agree, but ye must keep the masses happy and include that carcillo. For every tweet I like, there’s nearly countless ones that I find completely idiotic and/or maddening. Like when Stepan tweeted that he was playing video games all day…go work on draws, ffs. Twitter is however useful to see what is topical or trending, if one wonders about such things…

    It’s sad that today your clout is measured in some circles by how many followers you have (on twitter) or the number of friends you have on the facebook.

  75. Think of all the players throughout the league that may have known one of these kids. Jagr, Gaborik, Anisimov…….the list goes on and on. Someone before mentioned how one player effects so many people, like when Derek Boogard die, then multiple that by how many members are on the team……………….it’s just unimaginable!!!! This is just one of the most unbelievable summers for the NHL!! I know I said it before but a prayer for the NHL might be in order. Anyone want to take a road trip to like Louisiana or something and find someone to take the curse off the league, and it’s players???

  76. According to channel one Russia, which is the main channel over there, Ruslan Salei was not on the plane but was waiting for the team in Minsk.

  77. I can’t imagine the emotions Salei must be going thru?? Should I have died with the team??? The high of not being on the plane, but how do you feel good about it???? I just can’t imagine.

  78. It’s okay CCCP. We thank you for trying to provide some good news on this tragic day. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. :(

  79. Geez, I was still hoping he wasn’t on the plane…He had three daughters, the youngest is 6 months…

  80. This whole accident is just horrible. So many guys so young losing their lives, and their families left without them. I am praying for safety tomorrow and the next few weeks, ilb.

  81. Thanks, Tiki…We’ll be OK. Come to think of it, 48 people were shot in NY over the weekend. So I’ll be praying for everyone who is staying in NY too…

  82. Interestingly enough, ilb, I actually posted that link on here a few weeks ago! I guess I forgot he was Israeli. How about generating some MORE hockey fans?

    In all seriousness, though, I wish you and your wife nothing but the best on your adventure.

  83. billybleedsblue on

    Dr. ilb — have a great and safe trip and come back with some fun stories for us, please!

  84. I heard about this about 15 minutes after it happened and after reading about it all day and after seeing all the emotion and reactions and continuing horrifying news… I am at a loss for words.

  85. Czechthemout!!! on

    Just wanted to add that Potsy was an integral part of the 1994 Stanley Cup champions.

    He was very underrated during his time here. I have a good friend who knew him well and had nothing but the best things to say about him? I briefly met him,Nemchinov, and Zubov in a Russian night club only a few weeks after the cup win. Zubie was celebrating the birth of his child and he, my brother and a bunch of his friends had some drinks and hung out. I also have a picture of him potsy and my brother from that night.

    Very sad!

  86. Remember that time Tiki Barber called out Eli Manning and said the Giants had no chance to win with him as Quarterback? Then he (Tiki Barber) retired and the Giants won the very same year! Then Tiki went on to a “successful” broadcasting career but…OOPS…he left his wonderful wife and kids for some young floozy! Way to go Tiki!

  87. From Ranger Nation:

    Freaky tidbit I just learned. The lone survivor on the Lokomotiv roster, Alexander Galimov, scored the last goal of a Lokomotiv win on September 3rd, their last hockey game together as a team and all alive. Very sad.

  88. also very freaky that the mother of one of the victims passed away upon learning of her son’s death…but what can you expect, nothing worse than having to bury your own child.

  89. lol Manny. Agreed on Tiki BackstaBarber. The whole thing is sickening. Plane crashes are the worst. Most times, nobody survives and just imagine these men on today’s flight, families and children on other flights, knowing or suspecting whats about to happen. Too scary

  90. Galimov has burns on over 90% of his body and his respiratory system is badly damaged. i just hope he doesnt struggle whichever way his fate goes

  91. Hey, I need some help … but please don’t answer if you don’t know for sure, because I need to know for sure and I am finding conflicting photos and info on the internet.

    Which of the twin towers had the big antenna on top? North or South?

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