R.I.P. Pavol Demitra and Members of Lokomotiv
As most have already learned, a tragic plane crash occurred this morning involving the roster of the KHL hockey team Lokomotiv. Of the individuals on board there currently are only two survivors, as reported by Yahoo! Sports. Several former NHL skaters were on board including former St. Louis Blues forward Pavol Demitra.
What a sad and tragic summer this has been. It seems like every other week there is a new report that completely shakes you when you read it and lingers with your thoughts long after you close the story. In what has been the most rocky summer for NHL fans in recent memory, today just adds to the already tragic hockey summer.
Most of us are unfamiliar with a majority of the names on the plane that went down aside from maybe a handful of guys, but we shouldn’t just mourn the players we know. Keep your thoughts not just with the families of Pavol Demitra and the other former NHL players but with all of the staff and plane crew that were also on the plane today.
Demitra’s name is the most prominent for those of us in St. Louis as he skated with the Blues between the 1996-97 season and the 2003-04 season, leaving only after the NHL lockout. His time with the Blues ended after 494 regular season games, but Demitra made a lasting impression which has many Blues fans feeling very somber today.
From a statistical angle, Demitra was an extremely productive skater. He tallied 204 goals during his time with the Blues to go along with 289 assists.
Demitra always seemed to keep his nose mostly out of trouble on the ice which earned him the Lady Byng Trophy in 2000 after he spent just eight minutes in the penalty box.
Today’s news struck a chord with me as Demitra was a skater I always loved to follow as he moved around the ice. He was a member of some of the best St. Louis rosters we have seen and was an easy pick for many children as their childhood favorite.
My hope is that the NHL will take time to remember those lost today when the season begins in October. Here in St. Louis, I sincerely hope the Blues decide to do something to remember Demitra, a player that had a major impact on the fan base and community for many years. Whether it is retiring his number or some other tribute, I think it’d be appropriate to have something done within the Scottrade Center for fans to see, like what the St. Louis Cardinals have done after Daryl Kile’s and Josh Hancock’s untimely deaths.