On Wednesday, the hockey world lost a lot of brothers when a KHL team’s plane failed to gain proper altitude and crashed on the banks of the Volga River. Lokotomiv Yaroslavl’s entire roster was on board, as were several crew members. Of the 45 passengers, 43 lost their lives. It’s impossible to wrap your head around, because these gentlemen get onto planes literally hundreds of times every year.
On Wednesday, 43 men and women left behind families. Some, like former Red Wing Ruslan Salei, left behind infants.
The team was flying to Minsk to open their season against Dynamo on Thursday night. The game, of course, would not be played. But zero of the ticket holders returned their tickets, instead opting to take part in what I think may be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen take place on a sheet of ice. And I’m not afraid to admit to you that I cried like a little girl for an hour.
They mourned the losses of their brethren. Dynamo had organized the stunning tribute you see above. Thanks to the hard work of a very good friend of mine named Vicki, we’re able to understand what the public address announcer is saying. Vicki took the time to translate the video and what follows is her transcription. Below her translation is the full 35 minute video.
At first there are clips of the guy talking about various players and describing what kind of people they were. He said “today is a “black” day” and talked about one player in particular that was an “amazing guy that gave everything he had to the team and was a real man.” The music you hear in the background is what they traditionally play at churches at funerals when someone is being buried in Russia. When the [Dynamo] players are skating out on to the ice, the guy says “to remember the fallen victims, members of the Minsk team skate out on to the ice. The two teams have known each other for a long time and they were worthy opponents. Today the two were supposed to meet in (direct translation) true form but a terrible and scary tragedy has prevented their meeting.” While the Minsk players are skating toward the goal he says, “The players symbolically put the puck into their own net, symbolically losing to their worthy opponents. Today, this is the only thing they can do for their fallen comrades.”
The man in the red uniform who is the first to place a bouquet in the net is the President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Extra huge TPL thank you to Vicki, who took the time to help us understand a little bit more about the video. And stick tap to Puck Daddy who posted the videos originally.