Dreadful news has come out of Russia today. The plane carrying the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl has crashed, and aside from two survivors, one player and one crew member, everyone else on the plane is confirmed dead. That includes the team's coach, popular former Flyer Brad McCrimmon, part of the best defense pairing ever to don Orange and Black, and several other former NHL players.
Besides the pang of grief at McCrimmon's untimely passing -- he was only 53 -- I was also specifically saddened to see that one of the funniest people on my Twitter feed, player Pavol Demitra, was listed among the victims. RIP, sir, I always got a snicker from your tweets.
It's just a crying shame, no matter if you are an avid hockey fan or never heard of the sport. Of course, every accident with casualties is tragic, but in this case, there are additional layers of grief besides the losses to families and friends in ten countries. The victims were also a significant part of a larger community, all of which is reeling at their loss. Pro hockey in general, not to mention the Kontinental Hockey League, and every league for which these people played and worked in their histories, is hurting right now. And as a human being, as well as a hockey fan, I hurt along with them.
Thoughts and prayers to all the bereaved, be they families, friends, or fans. RIP to the many people who've left us far too soon.