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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Coach Brad McCrimmon, former King Pavol Demitra killed in Russian plane crash

Ex-NHL players died: McCrimmon, Demitra, Korolev, Vasicek, Rachunek, Skrastins

Pavol Demitra, a former Kings forward and a three-time NHL All-Star, was reportedly among the players killed in Wednesday's crash of a jetliner carrying a Russian hockey team. The coach of the team, former Detroit Red Wings defenceman Brad McCrimmon, also perished in the plane crash. The team was on its way to Minsk for the opening game of the season.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the Yak-42 plane crashed immediately after leaving an airport near the city of Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Moscow. It was carrying 45 people, including 37 passengers and eight crew. One crew member and Russian hockey player Alexander Galimov were the only survivors.

Among the NHL alumni that lost their lives in the crash: Pavol Demitra(notes), a standout offensive player for the St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks; Ruslan Salei, former Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche defenseman; Josef Vasicek, former New York Islanders forward; Karel Rachunek, former New Jersey Devils defenseman; Karlis Skrastins(notes), former Dallas Stars defenceman; and Stefan Liv, Detroit Red Wings goalie prospect.

Other victims of the crash included head coach Brad McCrimmon, a former Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers defenseman; assistant coach Alexander Karpovtsev, former New York Rangers defenseman; and assistant coach Igor Korolev, who played for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks among others.

Six former Toronto Maple Leafs who died young

Sources: PuckDaddy.com, latimesblogs.latimes.com, thedailybeast.com, ca.sports.yahoo.com

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