It looks like Niklas Hagman is headed to Russia.
According to RIA out of Russia (via Kukla’s), Hagman has signed a deal with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the KHL. Hagman finished last season with nine goals and 14 assists playing for both Calgary and Anaheim finishing the season with the Ducks. Lokomotiv is returning to the KHL after the air tragedy that saw the entire team killed in a plane crash last year.
If you’ll remember, he was one of the key components of the now infamous Dion Phaneuf trade between the Flames and Maple Leafs. Hagman along with Matt Stajan, Jamal Mayers, and Ian White went to Calgary in exchange for Phaneuf. Now only Stajan remains in Calgary. That deal didn’t exactly pay off.
With the Detroit Red Wings in town, the Calgary Flames decided to honor former defenseman Brad McCrimmon, who died in the Lokomotiv Yaroslaval plane crash. As you can see from the post’s main image, the team wore No. 4 McCrimmon jerseys and aired this touching video tribute:
Here’s the photo of Flames players honoring McCrimmon in jersey form:
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Los Angeles Kings head coach Terry Murray is so upset about a hit on Anze Kopitar that he pulled an “In my day …” OK, he said my “generation,” but same difference. (LA Kings Insider.)
Jeremy Roenick believes that Jonathan Toews could be a prime candidate for the Hart Trophy. (CSNChicago.com.)
Speaking of MVP candidates, John Boruk provides 10 keys for Claude Giroux to win it instead. My favorite: “Keep up the Giroux lovefest.” (CSNPhilly.com.)
Sad, must-see video: Sportsnet’s Christine Simpson catches up with Kristina Korolev, daughter of Igor, who died in that terrible Lokomotiv plane crash. (H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)
Most people are surprised that Matt Hackett has had such a successful first two games in the NHL, but his well-known uncle (and former NHL goalie) Jeff isn’t. (NHL.com.)
Close call of Friday night: Ottawa Senators prospect Patrick Wiercioch took a puck to the throat. Despite being admitted to a hospital, the word is that he’s in stable condition and should be OK. (TSN.)
Fantasy hockey nuts might want to pay attention to Sam Gagner now that he’s skating with wunderkind Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He has six of his 12 points in the last four games, including three from last night. His numbers could skyrocket if he keeps getting slam dunk opportunities like these:
Dennis Wideman scored his first career hat trick tonight. It was such an unbelievable achievement that Wideman doesn’t believe he had three goals. He believes his third one deflected off of someone else. (CSNWashington.com.)
You’re excused if you didn’t notice, but the Winnipeg Jets are now on a four-game winning streak. They’ve come a long way since getting embarrassed by the Montreal Canadiens during their first game back in the ‘Peg. (Winnipeg Sun.)
The sad story about Yaroslavl Lokomotiv and their horrific plane crash in September now has its closure. Russian authorities have determined that pilot error is the reason why their flight ended in the death of all players and flight crew aboard the jet.
44 people died in the crash back on September 7 and investigators determined that the Yak-42 plane had its brakes activated by the pilot accidentally before takeoff and then over-correcting the situation by trying to elevate the jet too fast. That combination of moves as well as a poorly managed plane and poorly trained flight crew led to disaster.
Such a horrible occurrence will not soon be forgotten by anyone, but here’s to hoping that the determination of what went wrong can lead to some kind of closure for the families and friends of all who perished in the accident.
Normally, a Washington Capitals-Pittsburgh Penguins game urges the use of negative words – it isn’t rare to see the word “hate” thrown around. The two teams probably won’t engage in a group hug on Oct. 13, but there should be an atmosphere of somber positivity during that regular season game.
The two squads announced that the game will usher in a joint effort to benefit the Lokomotiv plane crash victims’ families. The Capitals and Penguins will wear commemorative patches on their jerseys (see: this post’s main image) to honor those lost in that terrible tragedy. Players will autograph those sweaters for NHL.com auctions that run from Oct. 13 through Oct. 27. TSN reports that remembrance bracelets will also be sold to benefit the families.
It’s a fantastic idea that certainly must stem in some way from the fact that both rosters include prominent Russian players. The Capitals feature stars such as Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin while the Penguins boast Evgeni Malkin – just to name the clubs’ biggest stars from the hockey hotbed.
Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero captured the mood appropriately.
“We compete against each other hard on the ice, but off the ice we all are part of one big hockey family,” Penguins General Manager Ray Shero said. “Many of our players had friends on the Lokomotiv team. All of us in hockey were touched by this tragic loss. We just thought the Oct. 13 game was a unique opportunity for our two teams to work together to raise money for the children and families of the players, coaches and staff who lost their lives.”
Hopefully other NHL teams follow the Capitals and Penguins’ leads by finding creative ways to raise money for the many people whose lives were impacted by that awful accident.
(Patch image via Pittsburgh Penguins.)