Remembering the Deceased

25 players, 11 staff, several crew died in air crash


Several national team players died in the plane crash in Yaroslavl. From left to right, 1st row: Stefan Liv (SWE), Ruslan Salei (BLR), Karlis Skrastins (LAT), 2nd row: Pavol Demitra (SVK), Jan Marek (CZE), Robert Dietrich (GER). Photos: Matthew Manor, Jukka Rautio / HHOF-IIHF Images

Wednesday’s plane crash that claimed the lives of the majority of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team and the flight crew is undoubtedly one of the most terrible tragedies to occur in all of sports. The profound effect that this accident has had of the entire hockey world shows the nature of our sport and how it has touched people from different backgrounds.

As we so often come together from all corners of the globe to celebrate this sport when it is played, so too do we come together in mourning when such an awful tragedy happens to people that many in the hockey community knew well.

It is with a heavy heart that the IIHF would like to remember the lives of those unfortunate victims that perished in the crash.


Vitali Anikeyenko (RUS), 24
Born in Kyiv, Soviet Union (Ukraine), 2 January 1987, Anikeyenko started his junior career in Ukraine before moving to Russia. He played for several years for the junior teams of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl before debuting for the same club in the Russian Superliga in 2005. He played 296 games in Russia’s top league including ten for Metallurg Novokuznetsk. Known as a tough defenceman, Anikeyenko represented Russia in the 2007 IIHF World U20 Championship where he won the silver. He also played in two IIHF World U18 Chamiponships, in 2003 (bronze) and 2004.

Mikhail Balandin (RUS), 31
Born in Lipetsk, Soviet Union (Russia), 27 July 1980, Balandin joined Lokomotiv Yaroslavl as a junior before playing his first games with the professional team in the 1999-2000 season. In 2000 he played his only U20 World Championship, winning the silver medal. The physically strong defenceman continued his career with Salavat Yulayev Ufa, Lada Togliatti, CSKA Moscow, Atlant Mytishi and Dynamo Moscow before returning to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl for the upcoming season. He played 532 games in Russia’s top league.

Gennadi Churilov (RUS), 24
Born in Magnitogorsk, Soviet Union (Russia), 5 May 1987, Churilov played for the Metallurg Magnitogorsk junior teams until the age of 17 when he moved to Canada, playing one year for the QMJHL’s Québec Remparts before returning to Russia to join Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. He immediately played with the professional team in his first season and represented Russia in the 2006 and 2007 IIHF World U20 Championships, winning the silver in 2007. A centre known for his hockey sense and good passing, Churilov played 390 games in Russia’s top league and was also called for some exhibition games with the senior national team last season.

Pavol Demitra (SVK), 36
Born in Dubnica, Czechoslovakia (Slovakia), 29 November 1974, Demitra was set to begin his second season with Lokomotiv after having a strong first year with the team, scoring 18 goals and 43 assists in 54 games in 2010. The hockey veteran previously played in 847 NHL games over the span of 16 seasons in Ottawa, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Minnesota, and Vancouver. During his NHL career Demitra scored 304 goals and collected 768 assists. Demitra represented his country in six World Championships, and served as captain in the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.

Robert Dietrich (GER/KAZ), 25
Born in Ordzhonikidze, Soviet Union (Kazakhstan), 25 July 1986, Robert Dietrich returned to the country of his ancestors as a kid. He grew up in Kaufbeuren, Germany, and played junior hockey there and in Mannheim. After minor-league stints he debuted in Germany’s top league for the DEG Metro Stars Düsseldorf. Drafted by the Nashville Predators, the defenceman spent two years with the AHL team Milwaukee Admirals before returning to Germany to play for Adler Mannheim. He represented Germany in three World Championships, two U20 World Championships and one U18 World Chamiponship. He transferred to Russia during summer. The game in Minsk would have been his first KHL game.

Marat Kalimulin (RUS), 23
Born in Togliatti, Soviet Union (Russia), 20 August 1988, Kalimulin played junior and professional hockey for Lada Togliatti, where he debuted in the Superliga during the 2005-2006 season. After the team’s relegation due to lack of funding and a proper arena in 2010, Kalimulin joined Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Kalimulin played 173 games in Russia’s top league including 56 for Lokomotiv last season. The defenceman represented Russia in the 2008 IIHF World U20 Championship, winning the bronze medal.

Alexander Kalyanin (RUS), 23
Born in Chelyabinsk, Soviet Union (Russia), 24 September 1987, Kalyanin played junior hockey for his hometown team Traktor Chelyabinsk before moving to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the 2005-2006 season where he played his first game in the top league. After stints with second-tier team Dizel Penza and another year with Traktor Chelyabinsk, Kalyanin played three straight years for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl until his death. He never represented Russia in an IIHF championship, but played three exhibition games for the senior national team last season.

Andrei Kiryukhin (RUS), 24
Born in Yaroslavl, Soviet Union (Russia), 4 August 1987, Kiryukhin had played or the junior team of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl until 2007 and was also recalled for 22 games with the pro team in two seasons. To develop further, he moved to the second-tier league where he played for HK Belgorod and Kapitan Stupino before returning to Yaroslavl in 2009 where he played two full KHL seasons. Kiryukhin appeared in 164 games for Lokomotiv in the Russian top league. He won U20 silver in his only international event, the 2007 IIHF World U20 Championship. He was the son of another local sports hero, the late Anatoli Kiryukhin, a former football player and coach of Shinnik Yaroslavl.

Nikita Klyukin (RUS), 21
Born in Rybinsk, Soviet Union (Russia), 10 November 1989, Klyukin grew up in the second-biggest city of the Yaroslavl Oblast where he played junior hockey for Polet Rybinsk before joining the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl organization at the age of 11. Klyukin won the 2007 IIHF World U18 Championship with Russia and brought home the bronze medal from the 2009 IIHF World U20 Championship. The centre debuted in the KHL in the 2008-2009 season and played 129 games in Russia’s top league.

Stefan Liv (SWE), 30
Born in Gdynia, Poland, 21 December 1980, Liv was one of Sweden’s most decorated goaltenders. He moved this year from Sibir Novosibirsk to Lokomotiv. Liv spent the majority of his career in Sweden. After breaking into the Elitserien with HV71, Liv went on to win the league championship on three separate occasions with the team. He was selected the Elitserien’s Best Player in 2007-08, when he posted a 2.26 GAA in 46 regular season games at a 1.82 GAA in 17 playoff games. Representing Sweden in international play, Liv won the Olympic gold medal in Turin in 2006, and claimed an IIHF World Championship gold medal in 2006 as well, along with a silver in 2004 and two bronzes in 2002 and 2009. In his first year in the KHL he was selected to the league’s All-Star team.

Jan Marek (CZE), 31
Born in Jindrichuv Hradec, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic), 31 December 1979, Marek was a skilled forward with a productive career spanning the Czech and Russian Leagues. Marek joined Lokomotiv for the upcoming season after losing the Cup Final with Atlant Mytishi last year. In his native country he won the Czech Extraliga championship in 2006, while leading the league in points with 54 in 48 games. The following year Marek went to Russia and had an immediate impact with Metallurg Magnitogorsk, scoring 47 point in 47 regular season games before adding 17 point in 15 playoff games to help his team win the Russian Super League championship. In the 2008-2009 season Marek scored 35 goals, most of any player that year, while adding 37 assists for a total of 72 points in 53 games, enough to earn him All-Star honours. In 2010 he helped guide his country to a surprise gold medal at the IIHF World Championship.

Sergei Ostapchuk (BLR/RUS), 21
Born in Novopolotsk, Soviet Union (Belarus), 19 March 1990, Ostapchuk began developing his hockey career with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s junior squad. He had two separate stints with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, first in 2008-09 when he recorded 63 points in 61 games, earning him a place on the QMJHL’s All-Rookie Team. A year later he rejoined the Huskies and had 37 points in 38 games. His success in Quebec led him to rejoin Lokomotiv last year. Ostapchuk didn’t represent any nation internationally, but was cleared to play for Belarus the same week he died.

Karel Rachunek (CZE), 32
Born in Zlin, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic), 27 August 1979, Rachunek played several seasons in the NHL. The defenceman also played for Lokomotiv for five seasons between 2002 and 2011, serving as the team captain last season. He was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. When the KHL was established in place of the Russian Superliga, Rachunek played two seasons for Dynamo Moscow before signing with Lokomotiv for the fifth time. He was selected to the KHL All-Star team for three straight years beginning in 2008. Last season, as captain of Lokomotiv he tallied 46 points in 50 games during the regular season, the most by any defenceman that year. On the international stage, Rachunek represented the Czech Republic at three IIHF World Championships, winning the gold medal in 2010 and the bronze in 2011.

Ruslan Salei (BLR), 36
Born in Minsk, Soviet Union (Belarus), 2 November 1974, Salei began his professional career playing for his hometown team Dynamo/Tivali Minsk in the Russian Superliga. Later claimed by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, he went on to play more than 900 NHL games with the Ducks, the Florida Panthers, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Detroit Red Wings. In his international career, Salei participated in six World Championships and three Olympics, serving as captain of the Belarusian national team for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Maxim Shuvalov (RUS), 18
Born in Rybinsk, Russia, 23 April 1993, Shuvalov was drafted 38th overall by Lokomotiv in the 2010 KHL Draft after having played in his hometown for HK Rybinsk. He participated in the 2011 IIHF World U18 Championship in Germany, winning the bronze medal. Shuvalov was expected to move up from Lokomotiv’s youth team and make his KHL debut this year.

Karlis Skrastins (LAT), 37
Born in Riga, Soviet Union (Latvia), 9 September 1974, Skrastins was one of the most experienced and reliable defenders in professional hockey. The Latvian will be forever remembered as one of the NHL’s true iron men. Skrastins played 80 or more games six times in his NHL career, including not missing a single game through five straight seasons. His streak of 495 consecutive games played was an NHL record, broken only last year. On the international level, he represented Latvia at three different Olympics, serving as team captain in Vancouver 2010. He was also Latvia’s captain for two out of the eight IIHF World Championships in which he participated.

Pavel Snurnitsyn (RUS), 19
Born in Yaroslavl, Russia, 10 January 1992, Snurnitsyn had played two seasons with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s junior team in the MHL. Last year, the forward had 27 points in 51 games and was gearing up to join Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the KHL.

Danil Sobchenko (RUS/UKR), 20
Born in Kyiv, Soviet Union (Ukraine), 13 April 1991, Sobchenko was drafted this year in the 6th round of the NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks. Prior to this year Sobchenko played his entire pro career at Yaroslavl, both in the KHL and with the junior team in the MHL. At the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship, he tallied seven points in seven games as Russia won the gold medal.

Ivan Tkachenko (RUS), 31
Born in Yaroslavl, Soviet Union (Russia), 9 September 1979, Tkachenko began his pro hockey career in his hometown, eventually moving up to the top division Lokomotiv team for the 2001-2002 season, when he had one of his best seasons getting 34 points in 44 games. That same year, Lokomotiv won the Russian championship with Tkachenko scoring five goals and two assists in nine playoff games. Tkachenko then helped lead Yaroslavl to a second consecutive championship in 2003. In 2010-11 he received the KHL’s Iron Man Award, given to the player who played the most games in the last three seasons. Tkachenko also received an IIHF World Championship silver medal with Team Russia in 2002.

Pavel Trakhanov (RUS), 33
Born in Moscow, Soviet Union (Russia), 21 March 1978, Trakhanov was set to begin his first season with Lokomotiv this year after losing the Gagarin Cup Final with Atlant Mytishi last season. A reliable and strong defenceman, Trakhanov also helped guide MVD Balashikha to the Cup final in 2009-2010, losing to Ak Bars Kazan in seven games. He began his career with CSKA Moscow where he spent eight seasons with the top-league team before leaving for Severstal Cherepovets.

Yuri Urychev (RUS), 20
Born in Yaroslavl, Soviet Union (Russia), 3 April 1991, Urichev played hockey in his hometown Yaroslavl, where he had his KHL debut in the 2009-2010 season. The tall defenceman played sparingly at Lokomotiv (39 KHL games), but was a key player in Russia’s gold medal campaign during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship. During the tournament Urychev amassed four points in seven games as he helped Russia claim the gold medal.

Josef Vasicek (CZE), 30
Born in Havlickuv Brod, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic), 12 September 1980, the Stanley Cup winner spent the last three seasons playing for Lokomotiv following several seasons in the NHL. Vasicek went to North America after being drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Vasicek was a member of the Hurricanes’ 2006 Stanley Cup championship team, before going on to play for the New York Islanders and Nashville Predators. He represented the Czech Republic a number of international games, playing in three World Championships and at the 2010 Winter Olympics. In 2005 he helped the Czechs to a gold medal victory at the World Championship in Austria.

Alexander Vasyunov (RUS), 23
Born in Yaroslavl, Soviet Union (Russia), 22 April 1988, Vasyunov played in his hometown Yaroslavl from 2004 to 2009. He was set to return for a season with Lokomotiv after playing in North America, first for the AHL’s Albany Devils and then a brief stint with the New Jersey Devils in the NHL, who drafted him in the second round. Vasyunov appeared in 12 international games for Russia at the U18 and U20 level, scoring six points and winning U20 silver in 2007.

Olexander Vyukhin (UKR), 38
Born in Yekaterinburg, Soviet Union (Russia), 9 January 1973, Vyukhin moved from Yekaterinburg to Ukraine as a junior where he played in Kharkov and Kyiv. His long professional career began in 1992 when he joined Sokil Kyiv of the Russian Superliga. He went on to play 19 seasons in Russia, with Avangard Omsk, Sibir Novosibirsk, Severstal Cherepovets, and then Metallurg Novokuznetsk before being transferred to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl during the 2010-2011 season. Vyukhin represented Ukraine in the 1999 IIHF World Championship and in two C-Pool World Championships.

Artyom Yarchuk (RUS), 21
Born in Yaroslavl, Soviet Union (Russia), 3 May 1990, Yarchuk played nearly his entire hockey career in his hometown. Moving up through Lokomotiv’s junior teams, he scored 16 points in 20 games for Loko Yaroslavl in the MHL last year. His best season came in 2007-2008 when he notched 28 points in 31 games in the Russian third-tier league. In 2008 Yarchuk scored a pair of goals to help his country claim the silver medal at the IIHF World U18 Championship.


Brad McCrimmon (CAN), 52, Head Coach
Born in Dodsland, Saskatchewan, Canada, 29 March 1959, McCrimmon played as a defenceman in the NHL for 18 years, and another 14 as a coach at various levels of the game. McCrimmon’s contributions to the sport of hockey would only have increased when he took over the position of head coach of Lokomotiv in May. His death has resonated across the hockey world, as his career touched a number of people in one of sports’ closest-knit communities. As a player, McCrimmon played for six different NHL teams, most notably helping the Calgary Flames to their first and only Stanley Cup in 1989. Through his career he compiled 81 goals, 322 assists and a plus/minus of +444 which ranks tenth all time. After retiring McCrimmon began his coaching career as an assistant with the New York Islanders, before moving on to coach the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades. He went back to the NHL to coach the Flames, the Atlanta Thrashers, and the Detroit Red Wings, before jumping at a head coaching opportunity with Lokomotiv.

Alexander Karpovtsev (RUS), 41, Assistant Coach
Born in Moscow, Soviet Union (Russia), 7 April 1970, Karpotsev was one of the first four Russians to win the Stanley Cup. In 1994 Karpotsev, along with Alex Kovalyov, Sergei Zubov, and Sergei Nemchinov, were part of the New York Rangers team that outplayed the Philadelphia Flyers for hockey’s biggest prize. Karpovtsev also played for Russia during their successful gold medal run at the 1993 IIHF World Championship.  He went on to play a total of twelve seasons in the NHL with five different teams, before joining Ak Bars Kazan last year as an assistant coach. His season with Lokomotiv was to be his first with the team.

Igor Korolyov (RUS), 41, Assistant Coach
Born in Moscow, Soviet Union (Russia), 6 September 1970, Korolyov debuted in the Soviet league for Dynamo Moscow, winning three Soviet/CIS championships before leaving for North America in 1992. He played 795 regular season games in the NHL for St. Louis, Winnipeg, Phoenix, Toronto and Chicago before returning to Russia in 2004. He played for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl during the lockout season, followed by three years with Metallurg Magnitogorsk (one Russian championship) and one each with Atlant Mytishchi and Lokomotiv Yaroslavl where he ended his playing career in 2010, having played in 493 games in the Russian/Soviet top league. He represented the Soviet Union in the 1991 Canada Cup and the 1988 IIHF European U18 Championship and for Russia/CIS in the 1992 IIHF World Championship.

Team staff:

Yuri Bakhvalov (RUS, video coach)
Alexander Belyayev (RUS, equipment manager)
Nikolai Krivonosov (BLR, fitness trainer)
Yevgeni Kunnov (RUS, masseur)
Vyacheslav Kuznetsov (RUS, masseur)
Vladimir Piskunov (RUS, administrator)
Yevgeni Sidorov (RUS, tactic analyst)
Andrei Zimin (RUS, team doctor)

Flight crew:

Andrei Solomentsev, commander
Igor Zhivelov, co-pilot
Sergei Zhuralev, flight engineer
Vladimir Matyushin, flight engineer
Nadezhda Maksumova, flight attendant
Yelena Sarmatova, flight attendant
Yelena Shavina, flight attendant

Survived the crash:

Player Alexander Galimov
Flight engineer Alexander Sizov

Players/staff not on the plane include:

Artur Amirov (RUS)
Danil Yerdakov (RUS)
Maxim Zyuzyakin (RUS)
Jorma Valtonen (FIN, goaltending coach)


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