MOSCOW, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Fans of FC Lokomotiv Moscow light candles as they pay their respects to the victims of a plane crash carrying Russian hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl during a Russian Football League Championship match. (Photo by Dmitry Korotayev/Epsilon/Getty Images)
Today marks one year since the darkest day in the history of the sport of hockey. The entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team, its coaching staff, video crew, and medical/training staff were killed along with the pilots and crew save for flight engineer Alexander Sizov, was killed in a plane crash upon takeoff for the team's opening game of the 2011-12 season. One player, Alexander Galimov, initially survived the crash but succumbed to his injuries five days later. In total, 44 people were killed in the crash that brought international attention to the state of Russian commercial aircraft.
It halted the start of the KHL season, as the first game of the season was postponed as the news of the crash arrived mid-game. The season's start was delayed across the league for over a week.
Last year, I provided a list of the deceased from the Lokomotiv team. Today, I'm going to provide a different list, one of the roster that suited up with the Lokomotiv logo on their chests at Arena 2000 in Yaroslavl, the scene of the incredibly emotional memorials one year ago. They won in the club's return to the KHL, a 5-2 win over Sibir Novosibirsk.
The Head Coach is Tom Rowe, who was the assistant coach of the Carolina Hurricanes the past four years. Former NHL players Dmitry Yushkevich and Nikolai Borschevsky are his assistants, with Jorma Valtonen as the goaltending coach.
Side note: In the post-game press conference, one of the first questions Tom Rowe was asked was why he started Kolesnik over Sanford. It's safe to say that the media in Yaroslavl is ready to cover hockey games, stirring up goaltender controversies instead of talking about the plane crash.