Former Chicago Blackhawks, Alexander Kapovtsev and Igor Korolev, were two of the casualties in Wednesday morning's tragic Russian plane crash involving the majority of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) Lokomotiv Yaroslavl squad.
There were 43 people declared dead and only two survived (one player and one crew member).
Though it occurred thousands of miles away from our home arenas, this tragedy represents a catastrophic loss to the hockey world -- including the NHL family, which lost so many fathers, sons, teammates and friends who at one time excelled in our League. Our deepest condolences go to the families and loved ones of all who perished.
Alexander Karpovtsev was a defender who played with the Chicago Blackhawks from 2000-2004. In his four seasons with the 'Hawks, Alexander played 182 games, had seven goals, and 39 assists.
Karpovtsev's time in Chicago will sadly be remembered for being on the wrong end of a tirade by Blackhawks play-by-play announcer Pat Foley before he was traded to the New York Islanders. Despite the awful things that were said about Karpovtsev and his alleged "softness," Alexander was a very talented player who will be forever missed.
Igor Korolev was a center who played in Chicago from 2001-2004. In three seasons with the Blackhawks, Korolev played 192 games, scored 16 goals, and had 35 assists.
Korolev was a unique Russian player. Most Russian players are known for being flashy or great skaters, but Korolev was unusual in that he was the type to do the dirty work. Every once in a while though, Igor Korolev was still able to surprise with a flashy play or two.
“We stand together with the entire KHL, NHL and hockey world in mourning today’s tragic news concerning the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team,” the Blackhawks released in a statement on Wednesday.
“The tragedy effects the Chicago Blackhawks family directly as we mourn the losses of Alexander Karpovtsev and Igor Korolev, two players who spent time with our organization and that our fans know well. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl organization.”
Both of these men will be forever missed, not only in Chicago, but throughout the hockey world.
Other notable names who perished in the crash include former NHL alumni Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Josef Vasicek, Karel Rachunek and Karlis Skrastins.
Follow Marc Denson on Twitter @MarcDenson