Rangers/Sather statement on the tragedy in Russia


From the NYR:


Former Rangers Defensemen Alexander Karpovtsev and Karel Rachunek, and 2003 Draft Pick Jan Marek Among the Victims

New York, September 7, 2011 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather issued the following statement regarding the tragic plane crash in Russia that claimed the life of several members of Yaroslavl Lokomotiv of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) earlier today, including former Rangers defensemen Alexander Karpovtsev and Karel Rachunek, and 2003 Rangers draft pick Jan Marek:

“The New York Rangers organization is greatly saddened after learning of today’s tragedy,” said Sather. “Words cannot begin to express the magnitude of devastation for such unimaginable loss.

“Two Rangers alumni and one former draft pick perished in the accident.  Alexander Karpotsev helped to bring a Stanley Cup Championship to New York in 1994.  Karel Rachunek played two seasons in New York, and Jan Marek was a former draft pick.  Our sincerest condolences go out to the families of these players, and the families of all those lost today.”

Karpovtsev, 41, was one of the first four Russian-born players to have his name inscribed on the Stanley Cup as a member of the New York Rangers 1994 championship team.  A veteran of 12 NHL seasons, Karpovtsev registered 34 goals and 154 assists for 188 points, along with 430 penalty minutes in 596 games with the Rangers, Toronto, Chicago, the NY Islanders and Florida.  The Moscow, Russia native was acquired by the Rangers from the Quebec Nordiques in exchange for Mike Hurlbut on September 7, 1993.  He skated in six seasons as a Blueshirt from 1993-1998, tallying 22 goals and 75 assists for 97 points, along with 211 penalty minutes in 280 games.  In addition, Karpovtsev recorded 10 points (two goals, eight assists) and 36 penalty minutes in 44 career playoff contests with the Rangers, including four assists in 17 games during the team’s Stanley Cup Championship run in 1994.  Karpovtsev was entering his fourth season as an assistant coach with Lokomotiv.

Rachunek, 33, skated in 371 career games over seven seasons with the Rangers, Ottawa and New Jersey, registering 22 goals and 118 assists for 140 points, along with 227 penalty minutes.  Rachunek was acquired by the Rangers, along with Alexandre Giroux, from Ottawa in exchange for Greg de Vries on March 9, 2004.  He registered 30 points (seven goals, 23 assists) in 78 games over two seasons as a Blueshirt.  The Zlin, Czech Republic native also recorded four assists in six playoff contests with the Rangers in 2007.  Rachunek was entering his second consecutive season with Lokomotiv.

Marek, 32, was originally selected by the Rangers in the eighth round, 243rd overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.  He was traded to Los Angeles, along with Jason Ward and Marc-Andre Cliché, in exchange for Sean Avery and John Seymour on February 5, 2007.  Marek was entering his sixth season in Russia’s top league and first with Lokomotiv.


Here is Larry Brooks’ story on Karpovtsev from today’s Post.


I believe all of the kids who will represent the Rangers in the Traverse City tournament will be at the practice rink today. Unfortunately, I am up to my eyeballs in 9/11 themed columns and won’t be able to get there. So check over at the other blog sites and tweets for info, then come back here to discuss, as usual.

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  1. Hartnelling thunderbooms woke me up. And just when I thought I’d put this day behind me.
    Ick Carp, still working on that? I don’t mean to be cold, seriously, but having lived here all my life and covered 9/11, I just want it to be 9/12/2011 and put it all away.

  2. i read that one of the two teams that were supposed to open the KHL season tonight (i think the team that Kovalev and Zherdev are on), all of the players on that team cried like little children in the locker room upon hearing the news. just goes to show how close the hockey community is. also read that the other KHL teams are all considering sending their best players to Lokomotiv for this season… that would be something. but for now, prayers for the kid fighting for his life, and thoughts to all the families that will never be the same.

  3. gotta feel for Zherdev too, remember how he reacted when Cherepanov died? imagine what he’s going through now, he probably knew everyone on that team… and Kovalev played with Karpovtsev. oy. and Mama, agree, just want it to be 9/12/11 already. got some bad feeling about this sunday, i dont know what it is, i just want it to pass.

  4. Laurel

    Of course. I’m pretty shaken by this terrible tragedy. Russian TV had a special program not too long ago with some KHL people and some pilots and the fans of Lokomotiv and most of them were talking through tears. Really hard to watch. Locomotiv was one of the better KHL teams and a lot of people in Russia were expecting a special season from the team

    …just wasn’t meant to be.

  5. Thats really cool bout Karpovtsev, CCCP. Thanks for all your work today updating us. I feel for what you must be going through right now. Also very sad about the expectations for Locomotiv this year.

  6. Lev, if there’s one day in the entire year that you don’t have to really worry all that much aboot, it’s 9/11.

    Security will probably be as tight as….well….I can’t say, but let your imagination run wild!!

    I’m not worried! I’m more worried aboot something going wrong with my cable during the Traverse Tourney. I +need+ hockey! Nothing’s gonna stand in my way, dammit!

  7. Sure…just sharing info, that’s all.

    What is up with that on and off rain, eh? It’s hitting my AC in the bedroom so hard I feel like I am inside a mus

  8. Good morning, boneheads!

    Hoping for a better day. Yesterday was the first day in years that I couldn’t read the blog.

  9. Good morning, ilb. I wish you and Mrs. ilb a safe trip! You will be missed here, that’s for sure.

  10. Thanks, Marji. We return on 25th. And if the hotspot I rented for Israel works as advertised, I’ll be checking in for sure.

  11. Mama, but the ones I’m working on are inspirational stories of student/athlete kids who survived and thrived.

    Good morning, Sally!

  12. Good Morning Boneheads. Hopefully today will be filled with nothing but kittens and good news. I don’t know how much more of this horrible news I can take. So far we have the plane crash yesterday, 3 deaths in Hockey, 2 Suicides in Baseball….am I missing anything?

  13. billybleedsblue on


    Carp, I can’t wait to read your stories! It will be nice to have a story of inspiration to counter the inevitable reliving of such a dark day.

  14. So much bad news.
    But, on a brighter note – I’m going to be in NY for New Years Eve week – who wants to by me a drink ?
    and…. refresh, refresh, refresh !!!

  15. Good afternoon all! Carp, that’s good to hear. Tony, I’ll be thrilled to have you buy me a drink!

  16. Ill be there that week too Tony, going to the Winter Classic in Philly with Sally and others. Ill buy you drinks.

  17. I’ll buy you some drinks, Tony…And mama…And Tiki. Will be busy on New Year’s eve though. My parents’ 60th anniversary. But I’m available the rest of the week.

    Done at work for the day. Time to go home and pack.

  18. Right but it’s 12.21.2012. So we have another year to enjoy before the Mayans and Nostradamus ruin the world.

  19. Fran,
    Zipay has the Roster and numbers of the Ranger prospects for the tournament this weekend.

  20. What happened yesterday was not the first time entire (or almost entire) Russian professional ice hockey team goes down in air plane crash.

    The Sverdlovsk air disaster of January 5th, 1950 was an airplane crash where all 19 of those on board were killed, including almost the entire national ice hockey team (VVS Moscow) of the Soviet Air Force – 11 players, as well as a team doctor and a masseur. The team was on board a twin-engined Lisunov Li-2 transport aircraft, a licensed Soviet-built version of the DC-3, heading to a match against the Dynamo Moscow hockey club. During the approach to Koltsovo Airport in Sverdlovsk, Russia, the aircraft crashed in extremely adverse weather conditions involving a heavy snowstorm with strong winds.

    Reaction of Vasiliy Stalin

    The crash occurred two and a half weeks after the 70th birthday of Joseph Stalin. Stalin’s son Vasiliy Stalin, an Air Force commander of the Moscow Military District, was afraid of his father’s possible reaction and of the crash investigation; he decided to recruit a new Air Force team in less than a day, except for three original players who for various reasons were not on the crashed plane. The crash was not mentioned in the state-controlled media, and Iosif Stalin never knew it had happened

    The legendary team forward of Air Force Vsevolod Bobrov was late for the plane (according to him, this was the first his always reliable alarm clock did not ring at 4.00 am, and he overslept). Although the flight was delayed for 2 hours, the team flew without Bobrov and died. Bobrov took train to Chelyabinsk and survived. Also survived administrator commands NA Kolchugin whom coach BM Bocharnikov sent to get Bobrov straight out of the plane.


  21. ORR!! that is NOT a problem! Cans of food are AWESOME to throw at people or through glass things (e.g. windows). Water is awesome because you can drink it, it doesn’t spoil and you can use it to grow stuff. Or you can fill water baloons – freeze them – and have ice balls.

  22. There was another accident involving a Soviet soccer club FC Pakhtakor Tashkent in double plane collision.

    In August 1979, Pakhtakor made it back to the Soviet Top League, but shortly thereafter disaster struck the club and Soviet football. During a flight to play FC Dinamo Minsk, Pakhtakor’s plane was involved in a mid-air collision over Dniprodzerzhynsk, Ukraine. All 150 people aboard both planes involved died.


  23. Ice balls. Seems like a fun idea!

    What aboot that plane crash with the guys that ate their teammates? Was that Russian?

    If NYR were in a similar scenario, who do you think would be the first player to be eaten?

    MZA wouldn’t have to worry. He’s not a big meal.

  24. ORR!! this is one of the most hilarious things you have proposed as a talking concept. I will eagerly jump on board.

    I would also like to add that thank the lord Farty-Marty isn’t on this team because he would eat everyone.

    I think the first Ranger to be eaten would be – Marty Biron. I really think he would sacrifice himself for the team. He’s a good guy. This is of course assuming that weaklings like Christensen and the Hobbit survive.

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

    Morning ILB and all!!

    A safe and enjoyable trip for you and the mrs from all the wickys!!

    how’s it going bro?


    thanks for sharing


  26. There there, Manny. Hi Marji. Hi wicky. Hope your job is treating you well. Thanks for sharing, CCCP. Im familiar with the Manchester United Busby Babes plane crash of 1958.

  27. I thought I read somewhere that Tretiak mentioned something about having an emergency draft to rebuild Yaroslavl.

  28. Yeah, 18 of the 23 total owners have agreed to put up 3 of their team’s players for Yaroslavl to choose from. Yaroslavl will also promote 5 kids from their youth team.

  29. Manny – getting married ? – congratulations !!

    Tiki – looking forward to meeting you.

    Mama – this time let’s finally meet.

    DRINKS ON ME ! (actually my wife)

  30. Thank Tony! I didn’t know you would be in town or I would have not hired another photographer! I blew it, man.

  31. ORR!! that is AWESOME. I love that sketch. I don’t know how I will feel about eating it but I will find that out when I eat it, in public.

  32. Wicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    It was a football (soccer) team from uraguay I think that crashed in the Andes…the movie about it was called alive.


  33. Wicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on


    Pretty ridiculous indeed. I could understand people having a problem with the pledge because of the mythology incorporated in it, but mcarthyism… Puhlease!

  34. Manny, you were right, it would be Beer-On, who would get eaten by his teammates. Rupp already refers to him as a “piece of meat”

    Rupper17 @martybiron43 Ya, we coulda used a piece of meat in net today!


  35. Prust is trying to get Boyle on Tweeter! We need more NYR tweeters!

    Avery, and Butt-Chin are the worst. Avery just promotes stuff, and Butt-Chin doesn’t even say anything! He tweets like he plays in the playoffs!

  36. Im not sure its the appropriate time for Rupper for to be making twitter jokes, a day after the NHL family has suffered another horrendous blow.

  37. OK all, I’ve been putting off this last work project of mine long enough. Gotta suck it up and get it to it. Later all!

  38. Well, in his defense, Rupper was the first Ranger I saw put up a message about the Crash and his heartfelt wishes.

  39. Tiki,
    Since yesterday Loko site was closed. Now it is open only as a Memory Book mode. That’s their info. All other text is just painstaking description of what happened and deep and sincere condolences to families, as well as thanks to whole world for support and pledge to keep going with life and to play the wonderful game of hockey for all of these untimely passed guys too.

  40. Thanks 4ever. I liked how they closed it down yesterday and simply had a team picture. A nice way to pay tribute to their fallen family.

  41. moving on
    and into Rangerland

    i hope one of the Boneheads is at the
    event with Hank and Richards
    right now
    and reports back with
    details/pics later.

  42. Tiki

    Here is a rough translation:

    Dear fans, colleagues, friends

    Hockey club “Locomotive” was comprehended by terrible tragedy. We lost our team. It was lost on take off. 7 September 2011 for ever will remain as a black date not only for our club, but also for all world sports. In airport “Tunoshna” the plane crashed with players and trainers who were on their way to the first match of a new season in Minsk. It is impossible to realize that today the team of which we were proud of, in which trusted and loved unconditionally is gone. Life isn’t fair, but we need to reconcile and live with this loss and to live further. To live and play hockey for the sake of these guys, in memory of them! Hockey club “Locomotive” expresses the deepest condolences to all relatives, loved ones, and to friends of victims. The Whole world grieves together with you. We thank all of you who in this difficult hour hasn’t stood aside from a grief. Thanks for the help, support and participation. In days of mourning site works as a memory book.


  43. jpg, I was hoping to go, but not only have work to do, but quite honestly, didn’t feel like dealing with the mass of humanity :) Oh shoot, I’m supposed to be working, not here!

    Thanks C3

  44. ZzZz NYR ZzZz© " Don't stepan the logo!!!"...says Greg L. on

    This is firetrucking insane!!!!!


    OMG , when I heard last night about the crash …it gave me chills.

    I am numb.

  45. thanks. there was no way to copy the text so i had to retype it entirely into a Russian translate website. switched some words around so it could make sense to our American comrades.

    btw ilb, myagkoi posadki! :)

  46. Here’ an interesting article on yesterday’s crash:

    “Yak Service, the operator of the flight that crashed, was put under review by European Union regulators in 2009 for possible inclusion on a blacklist after Russia restricted it at home. The European Commission didn’t ban the operator after Russia lifted its own measures.”

    One of those who died in the crash had prior concern for his safety. Jan Marek, a 32-year-old player, said in an interview two years ago with Czech newspaper Lidove Noviny that he was scared to fly in Russia.
    “I feel it’s getting worse,” Marek said in comments republished yesterday by the newspaper. “I would rather ride a bus to Moscow for three days. I won’t take any pills but I may try shots of vodka.”

    source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-08/deadly-plane-crash-may-persuade-hockey-players-to-avoid-russia-agents-say.html

  47. From the moment, I learn about crash, on live Russian TV, like 10 min. after it happened, when they interrupted a talk show, then surfing thru ever-changing info stream and avalanche of articles about everything, even remotely linked to the case, to this moment, I just get literally sick to my stomach and any further discussion make me insurmountably puke, sorry.
    ilb.,please, seriously,be just double careful after Sept.,20 till 24 and promise to take exceptional care of wonderful mrs. ilb. BTW, who will take care of the dogs?

  48. Safe trip ilb! Have fun! Don’t forget your, um….oh forget it :)
    (inside joke, sorry all)

    I’ll finish work tomorrow. Hartnell it. Off to DVR….Ta!

  49. We will, folks..And we will have fun. My mother in law with her friends are staying at our house….Lucky dogs is right.

  50. just throwing this out there…the 4 rangers in 94 were (technically) not the first russians on the stanley cup. its a pretty popular hockey trivia question. the first “russian born” hockey player with his name on the cup was Johnny Gottselig in 1934. (born in Russia and raised in Canada i believe)

    i still love and will miss Potsie though :(

  51. oh ye, ilb, i didnt really understand why everyone here was getting THAT concerned about your trip, but 4ever just mentioned the sept 20-24 thing….TOTALLY agree with him now. that might be the time to go to Jordan as you planned.

    ye, jpg, that story was something. poor driver, poor kids, poor widow, poor Klastins.

  52. It is Skrastins, Lev, Karlis Scrastins. In Latvia, where I am from, and he is(was) Latvian and kind of national hero there, by nick name – Iron Man. My friends there are telling me that it is like National Mourning days now.

  53. ZzZz NYR ZzZz© " Don't stepan the logo!!!"...says Greg L. on

    Life is good , C3 been jogging 3 miles a day everyday so this season I will be full of ENERGY!!!!

    Sad to see a few Saskatoon players die this year and now our fellow Russians. Makes me wanna puke.

  54. apologies 4ever. condolences to entire nation of Latvia as well. my dad’s side of the family is Estonian.

  55. Lev, that’s a crushingly sad story – but it serves as a lesson. These players that we watch, and root for, sometimes love, and sometimes give a carcillo-load of criticism – they’re just *people*, like the rest of us. People with families, little children, parents, wives, etc.

    Every human life is a treasure – a treasure that can be gone in an instant. It would be nice if we could all respect each others lives, and be ever so thankful that we have our own.

    Rest in Peace, Locomotiv players and associates – and our sincere condolences to your now grieving loved ones everywhere.

  56. Wicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    You are correct, it was a rugby team! My bad.

    What’s up samsquatch? Missed ya!!

  57. 48 hours from now we get some ranger hockey. god i need something to take my mind off that plane crash. think about it all day long.

  58. CCCP,
    what, you don’t think LA would do Stall for Doughty strait up? isn’t Stahl a shutdown defender? why do the Rangers need to throw in Bourque, and a draft pick? LA should be begging the Rangers for Staal, so the Rangers could take Doughty off there hands.

  59. I think they might be able to do a lot better than Stahl for Doughty straight up, which is why we’d have to sweeten the pot.

    Even if their backs are against the walls, there are teams that are desperate for a guy like Doughty, and would give up the asking price without thinking twice…..or thrice! So they’ll roll the dice.

  60. Evening gang.

    Been inrcredibly sad since I heard the news yesterday. Even sadder reading the stories and updates. RIP to all those players/coaches/support staff who perished. Much love and prayers to their families and the survivors.

  61. In happier news, reading the posts from today and seeing that Tony and Tiki will be in NYC the week of New Years is making me strongly consider taking a trip there myself. I’ll be home from the 23rd/24th through 1/8 and it IS only a 2.5 hour train ride to the city….

    Hmmm. More things to ponder.

  62. billybleedsblue on

    CCCP, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion (for me anyways) that Loko wins the Championship.

  63. billybleedsblue on

    I believe there are international political implications as well, but enough of that!


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