It was yesterday morning when not only the hockey world but people across the globe, were stopped in their tracks after hearing the tragic news of a private jet crashing into the Volga River in Russia. The plane was carrying the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team, a professional hockey team in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. Of the 45 people aboard the plane, only two people survived — one was a crew member and the other was Alexander Galimov, a player for the Lokomotivs. Both are in the hospital and listed as being in “very grave” condition. So now that the world has absorbed the shock and tragedy, what happens now?
The KHL is now on a five-day hiatus to try and recoup from the loss and to pay respect to the players that lost their lives and their families. The league will resume play on September 13. But what will happen to the Lokomotivs now that the entire team, save one, is gone?
The first speculations to come after the tragedy are that the league is considering holding a draft. Within that draft, one or two players from every team would be selected to form a new Lokomotivs team and to play under that name for the remainder of the season. In addition to that, 30 — 40 players from the KHL have already volunteered to wear the Lokomotivs jersey and to play for that team this year. And if they’re taken up on those offers, a draft may not even be necessary, as that would be more than enough players.
The Russian Ice Hockey Federation President, Vladislav Tretiak, made it clear in a statement yesterday that the team, and the memory of those players would never die, by saying, “We will do our best to ensure that hockey in Yaroslavl does not die, and that it continues to live for the people that were on that plane.”