The plane crash that occurred on September 7, 2011, that killed 44 people, including most of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Hockey Club of the KHL, was a complete shock and devastation to not only the entire hockey world, but for the friends and families of those who lost their lives going to do what they loved the most. It has been just over a month since the tragic accident and the memories of those perished are still fresh in the minds of many players. Last week, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin of the rival Pittsburgh Penguins worked together in honour of their countrymen.
Both Ovechkin and Malkin had previously played with various members of the Lokomotiv team and are friends with many of their families and immediately felt the need to assist the families that had been left behind. During the Penguins and Capitals game on Thursday, October 13, 2011, the two rival teams joined with one common goal in raising money and honouring their fallen friends. Both teams wore commemorative Lokomotiv patches on their jerseys, which were later autographed and put up for an auction that will run until October 27, 2011.
The player’s wives and girlfriends of the Penguins sold remembrance bracelets during the two teams first meeting of the season and the Capitals sold many of the same bracelets during their home opener October 8, 2011. All proceeds from the bracelets and auctioned jerseys will be sent to the families of the crash victims in efforts to provide assistance through these very difficult times.
The beautiful thing about the sporting world is the common love for the game that many share to aspire and enjoy while at the same time make a living. Many past and present warriors within the NHL are in reality close friends and have an undying respect for not only teammates, but also opponents alike. The hockey community, especially the Russian hockey community, has always been known as a very tight knit group and there is no doubt that in a time such as this, coming together as a family is the only thing to do.
To learn more about Love for Lokomotiv or for donation and auction inquiries, visit http://www.loveforlokomotiv.com/donate.html