A Yak-42 passenger jet carrying members of the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed on takeoff, the majority of players on board. (Early reports put the death toll at 36, or 44, or somewhere in between.) The survivor, Alexander Galimov, is said to have critical injuries.
A handful of former NHLers were on Yaroslavl's roster, including Ruslan Salei, Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, and head coach Brad McCrimmon. We'll update as more comes in. But this is the worst nightmare for every sports team and fan.
UPDATE: Demitra's agent tells the Associated Press that Demitra died in the crash.
According to John Buccigross, the Czech embassy has now confirmed the deaths of Rachunek, former Carolina Hurricane Josef Vasicek, and New York Ranger draft pick Jan Marek.
Former Avalanche and Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins also died in the crash.