Archive for the ‘International’ Category


The city of Yaroslavl, Russia is hosting the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge and prior to facing off, the Canadian and Russian National Junior Team players and their coaches took part in a memorial which honored the memory of the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv players who were killed in a plane crash 11 months ago.

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This season, the wives and girlfriends of NHL players have united to lend support to the families of the players who died in the Lokomotiv Yarsolavl plane crash a month ago today. Kodette LaBarbera and Brijet Whitney (wives of Phoenix Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera and left wing Ray Whitney) are working with Katerina Jokinen (wife of Calgary Flames center Ollie Jokinen) to spearhead a fundraiser to aid the families by selling designer bracelets in memory of the players. LaBarbera and Jokinen have asked all the wives and girlfriends of players from each of the 30 NHL teams to sell the bracelets throughout the season at each home game. Some wives are also selling autographed pucks. Erica Lundmark (wife of KHL forward Jamie Lundmark) is spearheading the efforts overseas.

The wives have also launched a website to sell the memory bracelets. There are two designs – one made of semi-precious jade red and blue beads ($50 for adult’s size; $25 for kid’s size) and a red silicone band ($10).

Anyone interested in supporting this noble cause may visit the website at:

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Today, the sole member of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl to survive last week’s plane crash died in Moscow’s Vishnevsky hospital. Alexander Galimov (26) suffered burns over 80 percent of his body and succumbed to his injuries.

The only other victim to survive the crash is crew member Alexander Sizov, who remains in serious condition at Moscow’s Sklifosovsky hospital. He was recently moved out of intensive care and is currently recovering in a general ward. The cause of the crash has yet to be determined.

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Word spread quickly throughout the global ice hockey community on Wednesday, Sept. 7 that a Yak-42 jet crashed on takeoff killing 43 people near the city of Yaroslavl in Central Russia. Most of the victims were members of the Kontinental Hockey League’s team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and its youth team who were on their way to play their season opener against Dynamo Minsk. Among the confirmed fatalities are players who also played in the NHL such as Coach Brad McCrimmon, forward Pavol Demitra, defenseman Ruslan Salei, and forward Josef Vasicek. California fans were particularly familiar with Demitra who formerly played for the LA Kings and Salei who spent ten years with the then Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Salei’s last NHL team was the Detroit Red Wings.

Two passengers survived the crash but are in critical condition. Russian forward Alexander Galimov suffered burns over 80 percent of his body. Both survivors were taken to a Moscow hospital on Thursday morning.

Following the tragic plane crash which killed Lokomotiv’s entire team, the KHL has suspended all games for five days as the league, families, and fans of the deceased mourn their loss.

The KHL is composed of 24 clubs based throughout Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Slovakia. Speaking on Thursday about the tragedy, KHL President Alexander Medveded said that he will ask each team in the league to volunteer up to three players to be placed in a draft pool for the new Lokomotiv team. Lokomotiv would then have 40 to 45 players from which to choose a new roster. Additionally, the team will promote some players from its youth team to its senior roster.

Junior team coach Pyotr Vorobyov will be named the new coach of Lokomotiv. He coached the team to its 1997 Russian Superleague championship. Yaroslavl Lokomotiv president Yury Yakovlev also announced on Saturday that the team will not participate in the KHL during the 2011-12 season.

“The main priority now is to take care of the relatives and to pay last tribute to the late players and staff. The other aim is to re-build a competitive team,” Yakovlev said, according to Russia Today. “This will take some time as well as requiring human resources. But we are determined to resume participation in the KHL in [2012-13].”

This is the fourth time in the past three months that the hockey community has been rocked by sad news. Before this latest blow occurred, the sport scarcely had time to recover from the deaths of Derek Boogaard in May, Rick Rypien in mid August, and most recently Wade Belak at the end of August.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and victims of the Lokomotiv accident. They will be sorely missed.

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It was an all-Nordic Gold Medal Game at the 2011 IIHF World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia Sunday night with Finland facing off against Sweden. The Finns continued their impressive dominance in hockey as Finland took home its second World Championship while Sweden had to settle for Silver. Earlier in the day, the Czech Republic defeated a disappointed Russia to take home the Bronze.|NHL|home

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