McCrimmons, families find peace in anniversary

Brad McCrimmon's son Liam shows off the silver puck he was given in a ceremony honouring his late...

Brad McCrimmon's son Liam shows off the silver puck he was given in a ceremony honouring his late father before NHL hockey action between the Calgary Flames and Detroit Red Wings at the Scotiabank Saddledome. (LYLE ASPINALL/QMI AGENCY)

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:54 PM ET

YAROSLAVL, RUSSIA - The Arena 2000 was nearly empty as Liam McCrimmon sat in the seats.

"I want to go on the ice," the son of Brad McCrimmon said as he spied the empty sheet after a legends game was held.

The plan was hatched soon after.

Liam, 15, whose father was coach of the ill-fated Lokomotiv team, will visit Brad McCrimmon's old office Saturday.

"I'll try to get a stick and go shoot some pucks, then," he said.

Lord knows he deserves some joy, being one of those who lost his father in the tragedy. Firing a few pucks on net would be a benefit of making a trip halfway across the world.

For the younger McCrimmon, it was worth attending the one-year anniversary of the plane crash that wiped out his father's team.

"It's some closure. I'm now know I'm not alone," said the teenager who has a unique souvenir, a piece of the plane found when visiting the crash site, to go with his father's coaching whistle. "My mom, my sister and I aren't the only ones suffering. There are 90 other people feeling the same thing.

"It's a big family."

It's a family which gathered and hoped strength could be found in numbers.

"I couldn't imagine being anywhere else with the families and the girls," said Maureen McCrimmon, whose son and daughter, Carlin, made the trip from their home in suburban Detroit. "I've had wives and girlfriends (of other players) come up to me, and I couldn't tell you who they are or who they were married to, but we all just gave lots of hugs.

"I couldn't imagine being without these people for the past year."

Added Vera Korolev, wife of the late Igor Korolev: "You wouldn't want to be anywhere else on this day. It's good to be around all the girls and families who know exactly what we're going through.

"As much as people can say they know how we're supposed to feel and try to make us feel comfortable, only us, who went through it, know what it's like.

"We have a day to get together, support each other. We can cry and we can laugh, but we can support each other."

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak


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