Russian air disaster kills former Panthers Salei, Skrastins, Karpovtsev; KHL club perishes in unprecedented event

DENVER - FILE: Ruslan Salei #24 of the Detroit Red Wings warms up prior to facing the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on December 27, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. According to reports September 7, 2011, Ruslan Salei, a former NHL player, died when a plane carrying the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team crashed after taking off near the city of Yaraslavl in Russia. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Another incomprehensible tragedy in hockey today, as an airplane carrying the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl (roster herecrashed in Russia after colliding with an airport antenna on takeoff, killing 43 onboard (essentially the entire team).

This hits extremely close to home in South Florida, as former Panthers defensemen Ruslan Salei and Karlis Skrastins are listed as roster players, among a number of previous NHL regulars such as Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Igor Korolev,and Josef Vasicek. Longtime NHL blueliner Brad McCrimmon (Bruins, Flyers, Flames, Red Wings, Whalers, Coyotes) was the club's head coach; assistant Alexander Karpovtsev was a short-term Panther in 2005-06.

Please feel free to use this post as an open thread for an exchange of information and your own thoughts.

Our prayers to the families and friends of all the souls involved.

List of fatalities

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