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Category: Russian plane crash

Ruslan Salei's widow thanks fans for support

Ruslan-salei_175 Bethann Salei, widow of former Ducks defenseman Ruslan Salei (pictured at left), issued a statement Friday through the Ducks. Her husband, 36, died Wednesday in the plane crash that virtually wiped out the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team and killed 43 of 45 passengers on the chartered jet.

“On behalf of the Salei family, I want to express my sincere thanks to the entire hockey community, including all of Ruslan’s friends and fans, for the overwhelming love and support," she said. "While this is an extremely difficult time for us, the outpouring of affection our family has received has been comforting. As much as Ruslan enjoyed playing hockey, he loved the camaraderie he had with his teammates, the team staffs, and the fans that much more.

“Ruslan was the love of my life, and I’m extremely grateful to have our three beautiful children. He treasured his family life with us, and we miss him dearly.”

Salei and his wife continued to live in Orange County long after he left the Ducks, and he remained a popular figure among Ducks fans for his physical play—he’d as soon run over an opponent as go around one—and his genial personality. Some fans have left flowers and other remembrances of him outside Honda Center.

A Ducks spokesman said Salei’s funeral is expected to be private. The spokesman also said the club wants to honor Salei in some fashion next season but won't make any plans until the family is able to express its wishes.

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Hockey world reacts to Russian plane crash tragedy

Ducks remember Ruslan Salei, killed in Russian plane crash

Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei among 43 dead in Russian plane crash

--Helene Elliott

Photo credit: NHL

Russian hockey league to delay start of season after jet crash

Photo: People light candles in memory of the victims of the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team. Credit: Dennis Sinyavok / Reuters.    

Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League postponed the start of its season until Monday in the wake of the tragic plane crash that killed all but one member of the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team as it traveled to Minsk for its scheduled season opener.

Forty-three people died in the crash Wednesday, including players -- many of them former NHL standouts -- team staff and flight crew members. Only one player, forward Alexander Galimov, and one crew member, Alexander Sizov, were reported to have survived. Former Kings forward Pavol Demitra and former Ducks defenseman Ruslan Salei were among the victims.

A comprehensive report from the International Ice Hockey Federation touches on various aspects of the tragedy, including Lokomotiv's appointment of a new coach. Players from throughout the league have apparently volunteered to play for the re-formed Lokomotiv team this season, a classy gesture on the players’ part.

MORE:

Hockey world reacts to Russian plane crash tragedy

 

Ducks remember Ruslan Salei, killed in Russian plane crash

Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei among 43 dead in Russian plane crash

 -- Helene Elliott

Photo: People light candles in memory of the victims of the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team. Credit: Dennis Sinyavok / Reuters.



Kings' Ron Hextall mourns death of Brad McCrimmon

Brad3 News of the plane crash that took the lives of nearly the entire Yaroslavl Lokomotiv hockey team and its coaches left Ron Hextall so stunned that he could barely speak.

But the Kings' assistant general manager was determined to talk so he could convey his respect and admiration for Brad McCrimmon, his longtime Philadelphia Flyers teammate who had taken a job coaching Lokomotiv this season and was among the victims.

“When I heard about it, I didn’t know what to say. My first reaction was, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” Hextall said Wednesday.

“When I think of teammates I had over the years and great teammates, Brad McCrimmon is at the top of the list. Any athlete wants to be remembered as a good teammate. He truly was.”

Hextall and McCrimmon played on some outstanding Flyers teams in the 1980s, though they never won the Stanley Cup. McCrimmon, nicknamed “Beast” for his fearless physicality and ability to play 30-plus minutes per game, was usually paired with Mark Howe in a formidable defense tandem.

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