NHL's summer of sorrow

Flowers and a poster of Slovakia's ice hockey player Pavol Demitra are pictured on a wall at the...

Flowers and a poster of Slovakia's ice hockey player Pavol Demitra are pictured on a wall at the Ice Hockey Stadium in Trencin September 7, 2011. The poster reads: "Thank you Palo!". (REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:15 PM ET

It is being called the NHL’s summer of sorrow.

After the deaths of three players - Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak - the tragedy continued for the hockey world Wednesday when the KHL’s Yaroslavl Lokomotiv was wiped out by a plane crash in Russia.

Among the 43 of 45 passengers killed on the plane were former Detroit assistant Brad McCrimmon along with the likes of NHL players Pavol Demitra, Karlis Skrastins, Karel Rachunek and Josef Vasicek.

“The hockey world mourns yet again,” tweeted New York Rangers forward Brandon Prust in a plea late Wednesday afternoon. “Please God, we can’t take much more. Thoughts and prayers in Russia and to all friends and family.”

Just when people involved in hockey didn’t think it could get any worse ... It did.

“It’s obviously very sad and tragic,” Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said.

Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa, who lost a former teammate in Demitra, said the news hit him hard.

“My thoughts are like everybody else’s. It’s devastating. It’s another sad day for the NHL and the families involved. It leaves a hole in your heart,” Bieksa said.

When asked what went through his mind when he heard the news, Bieksa added: “Just sick to my stomach. Basically, here we go again type feeling. Pavol was a good friend so it’s tough. I feel bad for his family and can’t imagine the day that they’re having (Wednesday).”


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