Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Lokomtiv Yaroslavl plane crash

More details are starting to emerge after the crash today of an airplane involving a Russian hockey team.

The Los Angeles Times reports that many of the bodies have been retrieved from the crash site.
Video footage from the site of the crash showed a disfigured and burning bulk of the plane cabin towering from the shallow waters of the Volga close to the shore. Rescue workers were seen cautiously approaching the still-burning wreckage by boat.
By nightfall 35 bodies had been retrieved, the Russian Emergency Ministry officials said.
The accident has especially hit the National Hockey League hard because several of the players who died used to play in the NHL. The Associated Press provides a biographical sketch of some of the dead.

The team's coach was former NHL player Brad McCrimmon, who had joined the team just a few months ago. As the Toronto Sun notes, Mr. McCrimmon was hoping to use his coaching experience in Russia to improve his chances of getting a similar job in the NHL.
Brad McCrimmon was simply chasing a dream.
It was a dream that died minutes after takeoff Wednesday when his Russian club’s charter flight crashed into a riverbank, killing all but one member of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team he had only recently taken over as coach.
“He went to Russia to earn his stripes and show he was serious about becoming a head coach in the NHL,” said his former Calgary Flames teammate Joe Nieuwendyk, voice cracking.
“And then this happens … It’s just devastating news.”
Some called him ‘Beast.’ Others called him ‘Sarge.’
Most who played with McCrimmon or were coached by him, called him friend — as reliable and loyal as the farm dogs he grew up around.
But what the old-school purveyor of fine hockey stories from Plenty, Sask., wanted to be called most was coach.

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