Sporting News: NHL stars play Lokomotiv benefit
Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Malkin and other NHL stars from Russia participated in Lokomotiv Memorial Night in Kloten, Switzerland. The Saturday event drew more than 5,000 people in a charity event.
The exhibition was to commemorate players from the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team who were killed in a September 2011 airliner crash. Former NHL players Pavel Demitra, Ruslan Salei and Josef Vasicek were among Lokomotiv players who died in the crash. Coach Brad McCrimmon and assistants Alexander Karpovtsev and Igor Korolev also were NHL veterans.
An all-star team faced the Swiss league’s Kloten Flyers in the exhibition, which the stars won 9-6. Also playing were Pavel Datsyuk, Sergei Fedorov, Sandis Ozolinsh, Darius Kasparaitis, Alexander Radulov, Alexei Kovalev and Ilya Bryzgalov.
“It touches us deeply that such an impressive event was realized in Switzerland to honor our dead friends,” Alexander Zakhanov, a Lokomotive spokesman said afterward.
Lokomotiv iced a team in a lower-level Russian league and plans to return to the KHL this season. The team has added NHL players to its roster, including Niklas Hagman, Staffon Kronwell, Sami Lepisto, Curtis Sanford and Viktor Kozlov.
The Sept. 7, 2011, crash occurred shortly after takeoff. An investigation blamed pilot error for the crash. All on board were killed. The one man to survive the crash died several days later.
The accident prompted calls for improved aviation safety.