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Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, A Year Later We Remember

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year already. With an offseason plagued with death, we were all shocked to hear the news that a Yak-42 D carrying 45 people crashed after taking off from the Yaroslavl airport on route to Minsk, Belarus. On the plane was the entire Lokomotiv team. They were heading to their first game of the KHL season.

The NHL lost Derek Boogaard on May 13, 2011. Rick Rypien passed away on August 15, 2011. Shortly after on August 31, 2011 we learned about the death of Wade Belak. They say things come in threes. In the most horrifying offseason in hockey history, that proved wrong as the NHL lost several of their own when the old Russian plane went down.

They were considering rebuilding the team for the 2011-2012 season with juniors. They also considered building the roster with players from other teams. More than thirty players stepped forward and said that they would play for  Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. However, they decided to focus on the families and rebuild the team back to the KHL level over the course of the year. The ‘new’ Lokomotiv team played in Russia’s Major Hockey League, the second highest league in Russia below the KHL. They played 22 games, and made it to the playoffs. Unfortunately they were eliminated in the second round. This past offseason they replenished their roster and coaching staff with professionals who have played in the NHL and other leagues.

They had an emotional victory in their first game on September 6, a day before the one year anniversary of the tragedy. They played in Novosibirsk against Sibir. The game was sold out and tickets were hard to get. As the team took to the ice for the first time, Sibir fans chanted “LOKO! LOKO! LOKO!” before the puck dropped. The players who passed were honored with a moment of silence, and their pictures were projected onto the ice.

To remember the tragedy, the KHL held no games yesterday on the anniversary. Memorials were held world wide. They raised the sweaters of every player in Arena-2000, the home of Lokomotiv.

Let us remember those who perished in this awful tragedy. Let us also not forget Wade, Rick, and Derek.

Here is a list of those who died, from

Player Age Country Position
Vitaly Anikeyenko 24 Ukraine[E][78] D
Mikhail Balandin 31 Russia D
Gennady Churilov 24 Russia C
Pavol Demitra[A] 36 Slovakia C
Robert Dietrich 25 Germany D
Alexander Galimov[79][80] 26 Russia LW
Marat Kalimulin 23 Russia D
Alexander Kalyanin 23 Russia RW
Andrei Kiryukhin 24 Russia RW
Nikita Klyukin 21 Russia C
Stefan Liv[B] 30 Sweden G
Jan Marek[C] 31 Czech Republic C
Sergei Ostapchuk 21 Belarus LW
Karel Rachůnek[C] 32 Czech Republic D
Ruslan Salei[81] 36 Belarus D
Maxim Shuvalov 18 Russia D
Kārlis Skrastiņš[82] 37 Latvia D
Pavel Snurnitsyn 19 Russia F
Daniil Sobchenko 20 Ukraine[E][78] C
Ivan Tkachenko 31 Russia LW
Pavel Trakhanov 33 Russia D
Yuri Urychev 20 Russia D
Josef Vašíček[D] 30 Czech Republic C
Alexander Vasyunov[83] 23 Russia LW
Alexander Vyukhin 38 Ukraine[E][78] G
Artem Yarchuk 21 Russia LW

Team staff

Name Age Country Title
Yuri Bakhvalov Physician/Massage Therapist
Aleksandr Belyaev Equipment Manager/Massage Therapist
Alexander Karpovtsev[A] 41 Russia Assistant Coach
Igor Korolev[C] 41 Russia/Canada Assistant Coach
Nikolai Krivonosov 31 Belarus Fitness Coach
Yevgeni Kunnov Massage Therapist
Vyacheslav Kuznetsov Russia Massage Therapist
Brad McCrimmon[B] 52 Canada Head Coach
Vladimir Piskunov 52 Russia Administrator
Yevgeni Sidorov Russia Coach-Analyst
Andrei Zimin Team Doctor

Flight crew

Person Title
Nadezhda Maksumova Flight attendant
Vladimir Matyushin Flight engineer
Elena Sarmatova Flight attendant
Elena Shavina Flight attendant
Alexander Sizov[87] Avionic engineer
Andrei Solomentsev Captain[54]
Igor Zhivelov First Officer
Sergei Zhuravlev First Officer[54]

An offseason threatened by a lockout is almost trivial compared to the mass loss of life that we saw last offseason.

Dolly Reynolds-Dolce

@HulaDolly @BoltsByTheBay @FanSided


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