Today is the five-year anniversary of the tragic plane crash of the flight carrying the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Pilot error and subsequent technical failures caused the plane to crash shortly after take-off from the airport in Yaroslavl, Russia, on its way to their KHL season opener in Mink, Belarus on Wednesday, September 7th, 2011. All of the team’s players and coaches on board the flight perished, along with eight crew members for a total of 44 fatalities. Among the victims were three-time NHL All-Star forward and Lady Byng Award winner Pavol Demitra, 1996 first round pick and long-time Anaheim Mighty Duck Ruslan Salei, 2006 Stanley Cup-winning center Josef Vasicek, bruising NHL defensemen Karel Rachunek and Karlis Skrastins, and Devils prospect Alexander Vasyunov , not to mention Canadian head coach Brad McCrimmon and assistants Igor Korolev and Alexander Karpovtsev, all of whom had successful NHL careers. The team was forced to cancel its KHL season and the country of Russia and the entire hockey world mourned. On this day, the KHL has vowed to never hold another game, in memory of the those lost. Teams, players, and media members around the globe have remembered the tragedy today, and although Lokomotiv has luckily rebuilt their organization into a perennial playoff team, the 2011 team will never be forgotten.
- In other sad news today, the Philadelphia Flyers announced that former defenseman Bob Dailey has passed away at the age of 63 after a battle with cancer. Not one to lose a battle on the boards during his playing days, Dailey was one of the biggest and strongest players around in the 70’s and 80’s. A dominant force with the Vancouver Canucks and later Flyers, Dailey was a a big, talented blue liner who had a knack for finding the back of the net or the stick of an opportune teammate. In 1977-78 with Philly, Dailey had 21 goals and 36 assists for a career-high 57 points, as well as a +45 rating, second only to Bobby Clarke on the Flyers. His loss has been mourned by many throughout the world of hockey today.
- Some happy news may be on its way for Jets fans, as Darren Dreger reported on TSN 1290 in Winnipeg today that rumors of Jacob Trouba’s displeasure have been greatly exaggerated. While Dreger consented that not much is going on between parties, he refuted all rumors that the young RFA defenseman is unhappy in Winnipeg or unwilling to sign there. In fact, Dreger simply says that both sides want to keep all of the negotiations out of the public eye. It seems as though a resolution will be hammered out eventually, but Jets fans can rest easy if they don’t hear too much about it until the pen meets the paper on an extension.