These guys are my heroes. Growing up they were unstoppable super heroes to me. Joe is a super hero.
I just really can’t believe that he’s gone. Vasicek was one of the first players I remember as a hockey fan. I’ll never forget his big hits and goofy smile and watching him lift the Stanley Cup. Rest in peace big Joe, and everyone else involved.
A little memorial of my own. I will never forget you Karel, Jan and Josef. You were such a big part of my hockey-fan life that I can’t express how much I will miss you. Thank you for the memories which I will cherish that more and will always keep them close to my heart. Hope your beautiful souls find the rest, wherever they may be right now. Be at peace.
Forgive me the quality of the picture but it’s the best I managed to take.
I know that this happened today. Why am I late to making a blog entry about it? I don’t know. I guess I forgot I had a tumblr.
In case you haven’t heard of what happened, a Yak-42 jet carrying the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl has crashed while trying to get to Minsk, the capital of Belarus, for the first KHL game of their season. The entire team and 4 members of the Jr team were on board the plane when it happened. The plane hit a tower mast, caught on fire, and crashed 1.6 miles from Yaroslavl. The plane didn’t have enough altitude.
Everyone on the plane save for 2 people died. Let that sink in for a moment. ALL BUT 2 PEOPLE DIED.
Some former NHL names include:
Pavol Demitra Karlis Strastins Jan Marek Karel Rachunek Ruslan Salei Josef Vasicek
There were also some NHL prospects (or Ex-prospects) aboard the plane.
Daniil Sobchenko 6th Round 165th overall San Jose Sharks Drafted 2011
Later rounds usually contain people that will hardly make the NHL if at all, but this was a diamond in the rough. He had an outstanding showing at the U-20 tournament scoring 7 points in 7 games to help Russia clinch the gold. He was about to be invited to play for the Worcester Sharks, the San Jose affiliate farm team. But this is a case where “what if” is a more suitable situation as it will never come into fruition. I’m sorry that I am hyping him up, it was natural as I am a Sharks fan and was excited for Sobchenko.
Alexander Vasyunov 2nd Round 58th overall New Jersey Devils Drafted 2006
I don’t know much about him, but in his 18 game stint for the Devils, he scored 1 goal. He signed a 1 year deal with intentions on developing and returning to North America. Another “what if” scenario.
Stefan Liv 4th Round 102nd Overall Detroit Red Wings Drafted 2000
Despite playing mostly in the Grand Rapid Griffins, he had quite a career in Europe. And also helped the Swedish National team win Gold in the 2006 Turin Olympics and 2006 WC. He also helped his club HV71 win the SEL championships in 2004, and 2008.
Again, my condolences to the families of the following people. It never had to come to this. Deceased Players: Vitaly Anikienko Mikhail Balandin Gennady Churilov Pavol Demitra Robert Dietrich Marat Kalimulin Andrei Kiryukhin Nikita Klyukin Stefan Liv Jan Marek Sergei Ostapchuk Ruslan Salei Maxim Shuvalov Kārlis Skrastiņš Pavel Snurnitsyn Daniil Sobchenko Ivan Tkachenko Pavel Trakhanov Yuri Urychev Josef Vašíček Alexander Vasyunov Alexander Vyukhin Artem Yarchuk
Deceased Staff Members: Brad McCrimmon Alexander Karpovtsev Igor Korolev Yuri Bakhvalov Aleksandr Belyayev Nikolai Krivonosov Yevgeni Kunnov Vyacheslav Kuznetsov Vladimir Piskunov Yevgeni Sidorov Andrei Zimin
Deceased Flight Crew Members: Andrei Solomentsev Igor Zhivelov Nadezhda Maksumova Vladimir Matyushin Elena Sarmatova Elena Shavina Sergy Zhuravlev
Despite all of the tragedy, there is some good news. Remember that I said there were 2 survivors.
Survivors: Alexander Galimov (Player)- In critical condition with 90% of his body covered in burns
Josef Vasicek was a terrific person, from a great family, who did things the right way. He was universally liked by everyone he came in contact with, and went out of his way to make time for anyone. Even on his toughest days, fighting through frustrating injuries, Joe was quick to flash his brilliant smile – the smile of a man whose mother was a dentist – with an understanding that such challenges were temporarily. He was the kind of person that seemed to truly enjoy life and appreciate each day, which is what makes today so very, very difficult.