Check out Bas Rutten's Liver Shot on MMA Surge: http://bit.ly/MMASurgeEp1 A plane carrying a hockey team with international players, including some NHL veterans, crashed as it took off Wednesday afternoon from Russia's Yaroslavl airport, killing at least 43 people, Russian emergency officials said. Two of the 45 people aboard the plane, which included eight crew members, survived. Eleven of those on the aircraft were foreigners. The Lokomotiv team, which was scheduled to play a match Thursday in the new Kontinental Hockey League, had a number of players with ties to the National Hockey League. The KHL is considered the top professional hockey league in Europe and second only to the NHL in the caliber of play and quality of talent. Lokomotiv's roster was filled with top players from a number of countries including Russia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belarus and Sweden. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the crash "represents a catastrophic loss to the hockey world -- including the NHL family, which lost so many fathers, sons, teammates and friends who at one time excelled in our league. Our deepest condolences go to the families and loved ones of all who perished." An aviation agency spokesman told CNN the crash occurred around 4 p.m. during takeoff because the plane couldn't reach a safe altitude fast enough. The aircraft collided with the antenna of the airport beacon, fell to the ground and broke into several pieces and caught fire. This tragedy follows what has already been a dark and tragic summer for the NHL: the deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak, and the various controveries surrounding them all focusing on depression and addiction caused by the game's physical trauma has helped make 2011 the most tragic year ever for the sport. http://www.nhl.com/ http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/09/07/russia.plane.crash/index.html?hpt=hp_t1 http://nhl-red-light.si.com/2011/09/07/khl-crash-darkens-hockeys-grim-summer/?hpt=hp_t1 http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2011/09/pavol-demitra-ruslan-salei-russian-plane-crash.html
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