BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA - MAY 01: Pavol Demitra of Slovakia reacts during the IIHF World Championship group A match between Slovakia and Germany at Orange Arena on May 1, 2011 in Bratislava, Slovakia. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
The summer of sadness continues for the hockey world. Puck Daddy correspondent and resident Russian connection Demitry Cheskonov broke the news to most of North America, telling us in a tweet:
A terrible tragedy in Russia. A charter plane carrying KHL's Lokomotiv crashed. Only one person survived!
The news continued to get worse as we learned the entire team was
believed on board, including several former NHLers, most directly connected to Wild fans being Pavol Demitra who played with the team from 2006-2008.After playing for the Wild, he moved onto the Vancouver Canucks and finally home to Russia.
The words have begun to ring hallow, yet we offer our condolences to each of the families involved here. The key here is to remember to think of this tragedy the way I remember hearing in the past. It's not that we lost 36 people, it's that we lost one person 36 times, including a flight crew and other passengers. May they all rest in peace.
Note: No one has confirmed who was on board the plane at this time, but Demitra is on the roster and the reports are that the entire team was on board.
Update 8:54 AM:
Lokomotiv official tells Sovetsky Sport "everyone from the main roster was on the plane + 4 players from the youth team."
Update 10:17 AM:
On phone with Agent Matt Keator, confirms Pavol Demitra has died: "People were drawn to Demo. He was a great friend and great teammate. He was always the type to bring people together. I just want everybody to know what an infectious energy he has, what a wonderful person he was."
RIP Pavol Demitra
From Wild PR staffer Ryan Stanzel:
I'll remember 2 things about Demo: when he, Gabby and Radio snuck up on me on Robson St in Vancouver. Nearly jumped into traffic...
2)His banter with @Russostrib at practice rink in Denver when Mike picked Avs to beat us in '09 playoffs