The terrible tragedy that happened today in Russia could have been avoided. A team of hockey players boarded a 20 year old Soviet era jet with a terrible safety record and departed for a hockey game. The jet crashed, killing nearly everybody on board, including former NHLers Pavol Demitra, Ruslan Salei, Brad McCrimmon, Josef Vasicek, and Karel Rachunek. This model of jet was due to be scrapped next year due to their poor safety record and outdated design, yet they were deemed good enough to charter for the KHL, putting all these players lives in jeopardy. It is a black eye for both the KHL and Russian aviation, and is a sad day for the sport of hockey losing all these players.
This incident shows that it is better for hockey players to stay in North America if they have that option available. At least on this side of the pond we have acceptable safety standards for the aircraft that we put people on and where this kind of tragedy can be avoided. The summer of death continues in the hockey world. The winter cannot come fast enough.