Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

KHL will rebuild Lokomotiv team

Other teams willing to transfer players

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MOSCOW -- The president of Russia's KHL announced Thursday the league will delay its opening until Monday, in the wake of Wednesday's plane crash that decimated the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv.

Alexander Medvedev also said that league is doing everything within its power to rebuild the franchise, which was considered a top-quality team. He is proposing that each team offer up two to three players to form a pool of players that Lokomotiv can choose from.

The season officially started on Wednesday when the league's opening game was stopped when word of the crash spread.

"Every club, without exception, contacted us to say that they were willing to do anything they could to ensure that despite the deaths of these guys, their memory lives on not just among their family and friends but also with the club playing at the highest level," Medvedev told Russian journalists on Thursday.

"It's not been 'orchestrated', this has come from the clubs. They have said they are willing to send their best players to Yaroslavl; the players themselves have said they want to return.

"Many hockey players in Russia and all over the world grew up in Yaroslavl. People have called with a sincere wish to come and play for Lokomotiv."

According to the Russian Sport Express, 36 players in the league have already said they are willing to transfer to Yaroslavl.

Wednesday's crash claimed the lives of 43 people, including the team's head coach, Brad McCrimmon, who was a longtime NHL player and assistant coach. Assistant coach Alexander Karpovtsev, who won the Stanley Cup as a member of the New York Rangers, was also aboard the plane.

Several other players with NHL experience, including Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skrastins and Ruslan Salei were killed.

According to reports, Russian player Alexander Galimov, one of only two survivors, is in critical condition and has regained consciousness. Crew member Alexander Sizov is also reported to be in critical condition.

Searchers recovered the final body early Thursday morning.

 

-- Postmedia News

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 9, 2011 C6

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