Three Former Wings Among 43 Dead in Plane Crash

Former Red Wings Brad McCrimmon, Ruslan Salei and Stefan Liv were killed in a plane crash today, reports out of Russia state.

The chartered Yak-42, reportedly carrying the entire roster of the Kontinental Hockey League's Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team, collided with a radar tower shortly after liftoff outside Yaroslavl. The plane was en route to Minsk, Belarus, where Lokomotiv was to play their first game of the KHL season.

Lokomotiv's roster included several former NHLers, including Josef Vasicek, Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Alexander Vasyunov, and Karlis Skrastins.

McCrimmon was the team's head coach, having moved to the KHL after his contract as an assistant with the Red Wings was not renewed this summer. Former NHL players Alexander Karpovtsev and Igor Korolev were his assistants.

Salei signed with Yaroslavl after being unable to come to terms with an NHL team. He spent the 2010-11 season with the Red Wings after stints with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Florida Panthers, and Colorado Avalanche.

Former Detroit prospect Liv also joined Lokomotiv over the summer, jumping from fellow KHL squad Novosibirsk Siber. He dressed for Detroit but never saw game action during the 2006-07 season, splitting his lone North American season between the Grand Rapids Griffins and the Toledo Storm.

The only player reported to survive the crash is Alexander Galimov, who is in critical condition. One member of the crew is reported as having survived.

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Dmitry Chesnokov and the Puck Daddy guys are reporting that a plane carrying the majority of the KHL's Lokomotiv team has crashed in Russia. Right now it looks like the lone survivor was a crewmember, all team members were lost.

Lokomotiv is coached by former Detroit assistant Brad McCrimmon and included Ruslan Salei and former Detroit prospect Stefan Liv. Other former NHLers included Josef Vasicek, Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, and Karlis Skrastins.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 9/7/2011 at 9:41 AM


The entire roster was on the plane.

Lokomotiv official said the entire team was on the plane because they were traveling for the 1st game of the season, a celebration.!/dchesnokov/statuses/111437557983752192

Posted by YzerFan19 on 9/7/2011 at 9:56 AM


Reportedly Ruslan Salei was not on the plane, as he was already in Minsk waiting for the team.

Edit: This has not been reliably confirmed but several mainstream media reporters have tweeted it.

Edit (10:51 AM): Belorussian news agencies now confirming that Ruslan Salei was on board.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 9/7/2011 at 10:26 AM


Fox news is saying 36 dead and one survivor (no name given).

Posted by SYfanSD on 9/7/2011 at 10:58 AM


Alexander Galimov is reportedly the only surviving player (there may have been a surviving crewmember, different numbers are being thrown around than initially) and has burns over 80% of his body.

Edit: Pavel Lysenkov tweets that Galimov died in the hospital but that Salei is alive in Minsk.

Edit (11:06 AM): Pavol Demitra confirmed deceased by his agent. He and Liv are the only true confirmations at this time, I think.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 9/7/2011 at 11:00 AM


Per Puck Daddy, Lokomotiv has confirmed that the entire main roster was on the plane. Russia Today confirms that head coach Brad McCrimmon was as well.

Posted by YzerFan19 on 9/7/2011 at 11:14 AM


Very, very sad day.

Posted by SYfanSD on 9/7/2011 at 4:35 PM


This is heartbreaking ): And probably one of the saddest off seasons, ever.

Posted by Mathieu_Datsyuk132351 on 9/7/2011 at 7:19 PM


This is heartbreaking ): And probably one of the saddest off seasons, ever.

Truly heartbreaking, and yes, a very sad heart goes out to their families, to the inconsolable young wives and children....

Posted by OldBroad on 9/7/2011 at 7:36 PM


Still a huge effect as of today.. am thinking everyone in the hockey world will now pay attention and honor the dead with special patches and etc.. I can still remember feeling so flaggerested when I heard the news of the KHL team's plane crashing and killing almost everyone.. wow.. really a terrible tragedy to happen....

Posted by NorthStar on 9/17/2011 at 10:54 AM

Ruslan Salei

Ruslan Salei
Credit: Clark Rasmussen

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