Thursday, July 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Former Flyer Brad McCrimmon dead in plane crash

UPDATED (11:55 am EST): Former Flyer Brad McCrimmon, 52, is confirmed among the dead, according to the Russian Times. McCrimmon, 52, played for the Flyers from 1982-87. He played on the Flyers' Stanley Cup finalists in 1985 and 1987. He played 18 seasons in the NHL, also playing for the Bruins, Flames, Red Wings, Hartford Whalers and Coyotes. He played 1,222 NHL games. He formed one half of one of the Flyers' best defense pairings in history. In 1985-86, McCrimmon's partner, Mark Howe, was a plus-85 and McCrimmon was a plus-83.

Former Flyer Brad McCrimmon dead in plane crash

UPDATED (11:55 am EST): Former Flyer Brad McCrimmon, 52, is confirmed among the dead, according to the Russian Times.

McCrimmon, 52, played for the Flyers from 1982-87. He played on the Flyers' Stanley Cup finalists in 1985 and 1987. He played 18 seasons in the NHL, also playing for the Bruins, Flames, Red Wings, Hartford Whalers and Coyotes. He played 1,222 NHL games.

He formed one half of one of the Flyers' best defense pairings in history. In 1985-86, McCrimmon's partner, Mark Howe, was a plus-85 and McCrimmon was a plus-83.

McCrimmon most recently was an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings. He parted ways with the Wings in May to take a job with Lokomotiv.

Also confirmed on board were former NHLers Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Ruslan Salei, Josef Vasicek and Igor Korolev.

Current Flyer Jaromir Jagr played in the KHL for the past three seasons before deciding to return to the NHL. Jagr has not yet arrived in North America to begin training with the Flyers.

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EARLIER:
From an Associated Press report:

A Russian jet carrying a top ice hockey team crashed while taking off Wednesday in western Russia, killing at least 43 people and leaving two critically injured, officials said. Former Flyers defenseman Brad McCrimmon is listed as the caoch of the KHL team. It is not known if he was on the plane.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the plane was carrying the Lokomotiv ice hockey team from Yaroslavl to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, where it was to play Thursday against Dinamo Minsk in the opening game of the season in the Kontinental Hockey League.

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McCrimmon, 52, played for the Flyers from 1982-87. He played on the Flyers' Stanley Cup finalists in 1985 and 1987. He played 18 seasons in the NHL, also playing for the Bruins, Flames, Red Wings, Hartford Whalers and Coyotes. He played 1,222 NHL games.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said the Yak-42 plane crashed immediately after leaving an airport near the city of Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Moscow. It was carrying 45 people, including 37 passengers and eight crew, and the ministry said all but two people were killed in the crash.

The weather was sunny and clear at the time.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin immediately sent the nation's transport minister to the site, 10 miles (15 kilometers) east of Yaroslavl.

The KHL is an international club league that pits together teams from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Slovakia.

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl is a leading force in Russian hockey and came third in the KHL last year. It's coached by McCrimmon and includes several international stars in its ranks, such as Stefan Liv of Sweden and Czech Republic players Josef Vaicek and Jan Marek. Lokomotiv was a three-time Russian League champion in 1997, 2002 and 2003 and took the bronze last season.

 It wasn't immediately clear which players were on board the Yak-42 on Wednesday.

 "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," said Russian Ice Hockey Federation President Vladislav Tretyak.

 The short- and medium-range Yak-42 has been in service since 1980 and dozens are still in service with Russian and other airlines.


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