What happend in Russia is so dreadfully horrible. A whole team was wiped out. So many lives at once. Airplane accidents are always aweful, and the relatives and friends always suffer. But when a plane filled with celebreties ges down, it feels like everybody is losing someone dear. Every person has some sort of relationship with some of the victims. Like, all Swedes "knew" Stefan Liv. That's why this incident affects so many more.
So many great hockeyplayers were lost. Players like Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skraistins and so many more hade significant carreers in the NHL, and many more had it ahead of them.
I want to highlight two of the deceased a little more, two players that, as I wrote above, I feel I have a little extra connection to.
In Lokomotiv he was assistant coach, but it is as a player he will be remembered. In the '90s he played for the New York Rangers, and 1994 he was a member of the Stanley Cup winning team. Along with Alexei Kovalev, Sergei Zubov and Sergei Nemchinov, he became the first Russian player to ever win the Stanley Cup.
This is the first peerson from the amazing 1994 New York Rangers team who died.
He made several good seasons in NYR before he got traded to Toronto.
He was an uderrated player, and always reliable.
This is just so aweful. Liv seemed to be such a nic person. Always during interviews and after the games. he was a hapy spirit and was playful and both did and said funny things. Many journalist talks about how he always had a joke comming up, jokes that was in his own humor and often the journalidt had now idea what he meant, but htey laughed anyway and thought it was funny. And the always tumbled around on the ice after a big win. And he had a neat Jönköping accent.
As a hoceky player he was also great. Incredibly great. He one three Swedish championships, one Olympic Gold and 2 World championships gold medals. You can't talk that away. He was big, and always the best when it mattered the most.
Well, not always, though. He never succeeded in the NHL and Detroit. I said the whole time that he should have tried with the farm team for a few more years, and give it a shot, and then go home if it didn't work out. Instead he left after just one year, and he was better off in Europe, and he seemed to like it.
It is a big man and player we have lost. It's just so sad. Rest in peace, oh you great Swedish hero.
Det är en stor man och spelare som har gått förlorad. Hemst är det. Vila i frid, du svenske hjälte.