There’s little anyone can say or do to lessen the impact as the hockey world begins to mourn yet another devastating loss in the wake of the the tragic plane crash that killed 43 people, including most of the Lokomotiv team of the Kontinental Hockey League. This is where we lend our thoughts to the loved ones who perished in the fateful Wednesday morning crash, and take time to listen to and reflect upon the words of those that knew them best.
Former NHL star Pavol Demitra was one of the 43 people on board when the Russian flight crashed near the city of Yaroslavl. Matt Keator, Demitra’s agent took a few minutes to recall some memories of his friend and client. theScore.com’s Corey Erdman spoke with Keator on Wednesday:
He’s the type of guy people were drawn to. He was not only a great teammate, a great friend, but he was a leader, quietly. A lot of people were drawn to him as a person. I’ve known him since back when I worked with the St. Louis Blues years and years ago when we traded for him. Just a wonderful person. I want everyone to know what a great person he was.
We were good friends, we talked on the phone. I actually visited him three weeks ago in Riga, Latvia during his pre-season and spent some time with him. He just had a lot of energy to him. Just a great individual and a great person. You won’t hear anyone say a bad word about him.
He was playing with Josef Vasicek on the top line and they were scoring a lot. That’s what he loved to do, he loved to score.
We will continue to provide coverage of the tributes and memories of members of the Lokomotiv hockey club as they begin to pour in. We would like to thank Matt Keator for speaking with theScore.com during this difficult time.
The most important thing to keep in mind right now is remembering those who died while we offer condolences to their friends and family. That said, there will be questions regarding how this happened and what the KHL plans to do moving forward. Answers to those questions may take some time, and we will begin to cover those angles of the story in the coming days.
For now, it’s best to exercise some patience in dealing with this tragic event.