Last September, a plane carrying the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team crashed shortly after take off, killing everyone aboard, save for crew member Alexander Sizov, who miraculously survived. For as many names that were unfamiliar in North America, there were many that stood out. Pavol Demitra. Stefan Liv. Karel Rachunek. Ruslan Salei. Karlis Skrastins. Josef Vasicek. Igor Korolev. Brad McCrimmon.
It was and remains a sobering reminder of the fragility of life, and how close the hockey community is world wide. I’ve never figured the way to move on from tragedy, but I assume it has something to do with living life as you otherwise would. That’s what they are trying to do in Yaroslavl, with the dawn of the next KHL season on the horizon.
Lokomotiv is trying to reestablish themselves in the KHL after completely rebuilding their team, including more names that we will be familiar with, like Viktor Kozlov, Curtis Sanford, Sami Lepisto and Niklas Hagman. The new players won’t bring back all that was lost last September, but that’s not the point. Lokomotiv and Yaroslavl can only trying to live life.