Update, 7:36 a.m.:
Mark Messier remembers Karpovtsev (via NY Post)….
“It’s like a punch in the stomach,” Mark Messier said. “Potsy always came to the rink with a smile on his face. He was a great teammate. He didn’t know that much English when he came over but that never hindered him from fitting in with us.
“I loved the guy. It’s just devastating.”
Wayne Gretzky and Bruce Driven also remember Karpovtsev.
Here is a statement from Glen Sather on yesterday’s plane crash in Russia that killed all but two of its 45 passengers most of whom were members of the KHL team Locomotiv including former Rangers Alex Karpovtsev (Assistant Coach), Karel Rachunek and Jan Marek…
“The New York Rangers organization is greatly saddened after learning of today’s tragedy,” said Sather. “Words cannot begin to express the magnitude of devastation for such unimaginable loss.
“Two Rangers alumni and one former draft pick perished in the accident. Alexander Karpovtsev helped to bring a Stanley Cup Championship to New York in 1994. Karel Rachunek played two seasons in New York, and Jan Marek was a former draft pick. Our sincerest condolences go out to the families of these players, and the families of all those lost today.”
Meanwhile former Rangers coach Mike Keenan remembers Karpovtsev (via Daily News)…
“(Karpovtsev) was a fun-loving individual, who was also a very skilled and talented hockey player,” said Mike Keenan, coach of the ’94 Rangers. “He made some valuable contributions to our success. He always had a smile on his face and laughed a lot.”
The New York Times says the crash added to a terrible run of air safety problems in Russia, with eight fatal crashes this year, six of them since June which could keep NHL stars from making a jump to the KHL which was still reeling from the 2008 death of Rangers first round pick Alexei Cherepanov that led to Avangard Omsk team president and doctor being suspended indefinitely by the league for their roles in the death, as well as for administering a banned performance-enhancing drug that was discovered at autopsy.
Finally, the Minneapolis Star Tribune re-prints a story from 2007 on the Marian Gaborik/Pavel Demitra friendship.
…i started blogging about the Rangers in 2007 because I loved the team and wanted to bring as much Blueshirt news as possible to the fans. No way did I ever think I’d be posting about stuff like this. Since the blog began I’ve had to post about the deaths of Cherepanov, Boogaard and now Karpovtsev, Rachunek and Marek. The death of another human being is not an easy thing to write about and I hope to God this is the last horrific event I have to post about.
…h/t to reader Ken D. for the Times article.