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.