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At least 45 dead as plane carrying Russian ice hockey team crashes 

tragic plane crash that took the lives of the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team today touches close to home for the New York Islanders. Three of the deceased were former members of the Islanders organization.

Brad McCrimmon, Alexander Karpovtsev and Josef Vasicek had all previously been part of the Islanders organization. McCrimmon was an assistant coach during the 97-98 & 99-00 season, Karpovstev appeared in three games for the Isles in the 2003-04 season, and Vasicek played the full 2007-08 season in the Islanders orange blue.

Islanders GM Garth Snow issued the following statement regarding the crash;

“The entire New York Islanders organization is saddened by the confirmed reports of the devastating plane crash involving the Kontinental Hockey League club, Lokomotiv.  Our hearts and prayers go out to all the families that lost loved ones on that flight.  Three members of the Islanders family were passengers, including former assistant coach Brad McCrimmon, defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev and forward Josef Vasicek.  We send our deepest sympathies to everyone who has been affected by this tragic event.”

The tragedy has also touched former Islanders captain Alexi Yashin, who played for Lokomotiv for two years.

"It's a sad day in the history of hockey," Yashin told Brian Compton of NHL.com. "A lot of my friends were on the plane. I just want to give my condolences to the families. It's a tough time for everybody in the hockey world -- not only in Russia, but this should touch everybody in professional sports. There's nothing really you can say."

The entire IHB team sends their Thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of all 43 members of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl who passed away today.