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Russian Ice Hockey Team Including Demitra And Salei Killed As Jet Crashes In Russia

Russian ice hockey team including Pavol Demitra and Ruslan Salei were killed when their jet crashed shortly after take off in Russia, slamming into the river bank and bursting into flames.

Russian ice hockey team including Pavol Demitra and Ruslan Salei were killed when their jet crashed shortly after take off in Russia, slamming into the river bank and bursting into flames.

This summer has been bad for deaths in the NHL, with Derek Boogaard dying from an accidental overdose of drugs and alcohol, and then Rick Rypien and Wade Belak both committed suicide in separate incidents, but now a Russian ice hockey team has been wiped out when a plane they had chartered crashed shortly after take off, killing 43 people. The plane apparently had trouble gaining altitude after take off in sunny weather, and it slammed into the banks of the Volga River, 150 miles north east of Moscow at Yaroslavl.

Remarkably two people have survived the crash, the Russian player Alexander Galimov and a flight engineer, but both have serious injuries.

Pavol Demitra, 36 years old from Slovakia played for the Vancouver Canucks in the 2009-2010 season before moving to Russia to play for the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team in the Kontinental Hockey League, KHL, where last season he was their leading scorer.

Ruslan Salei was also killed. He played at Anaheim for the Ducks for the first eight years of his NHL career, and played with the Detroit red Wings last season. There were other former NHL players on board the flight as well as some prospects.

The team was heading to Belarus to play their first game of the season scheduled for Thursday night against Dinamo Minsk. Russian Ice Hockey Federation President Vladislav Tretyak said “We will do our best to ensure that hockey in Yaroslavl does not die, and that it continues to live for the people that were on that plane.”

There were 24 teams playing in the Kontinental Hockey League, and a game Kontinental Hockey League and a league game which was scheduled for Wednesday in Ufa was canceled as news of the terrible tragedy spread.

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Keith is a multi-sport skills and fitness coach with more than 30 years sports and coaching experience; with a holistic view of health, he has also been a leader in applying plyometrics to youth teams.

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