It has been a long, depressing off-season for the NHL. More than one player has died suddenly, and just as we were moving past those tragedies, this happens. A plane filled with Russian, German, Swedish, and former NHL hockey players crashed in Russia this morning, killing at least 43 of the 45 on board. The two survivors were members of the crew, so it seems likely that all of the players and coaches have died. This is a terribly sobering moment for fans of the sport, and those who take the safety of air travel for granted.

According to the story on the plane failed to reach a safe altitude in time, clipping an antenna of some kind, and crashing to the ground. Some of the former NHL players include Karl Rachunek, Ruslan Salei, Karlis Skrastins, and probably most famously, Pavol Demitra. The team’s head coach, Brad McCrimmon, was formerly a coach with the Detroit Red Wings.

Check out this video report from CNN, but be warned there are some shots of the plane wreckage, and it’s not a pleasant subject material, obviously.

There are few things more tragic than a plane crash like this, and my hope is that the families and fans of these players can move on from this tragedy quickly. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this crash.

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