The Kontinental Hockey League faced an unenviable question upon learning about the horrific news of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crash: how would they try to move on? Many rightfully wonder about the fate of a team that was decimated by a terrible tragedy.
KHL games have been postponed until Monday, September 12, according to the league’s Web site. The league will also rebuild the Lokomotiv team by asking its 23 other clubs to make as many as three of their players available in what sounds similar to an expansion draft. The report indicates that the franchise will have about 40-45 players to choose from.
Reports indicate that Lokomotiv will also call up some players from its junior team to its top club. NHL.com passes along word that Pyotr Vorobyov will be their new head coach. Vorobyov served as the junior team’s coach but also helped the team win a Russian Superleague championship in 1997, according to NHL.com.
KHL president Alexander Medvedev spoke about rebuilding Lokomotiv.
“The 18 KHL clubs whose representatives I have managed to speak with have supported this proposal,” Medvedev said in remarks to Atlant Mytischi hockey club’s press service, according to an Associated Press report.
The KHL has 24 clubs spread throughout Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Slovakia.
NHL.com reports that a memorial service will be held for the crash’s victims at Yaroslavl arena on Saturday. Fans gathered at that location for a candle light vigil on Wednesday.
There is no easy way to handle a situation like this, especially since it comes at a time in which the KHL is in a difficult position to consider other options. There might be a team called Lokomotiv playing next season, but there’s no way to truly replace those lost in that horrific accident. The best thing the league and team can do is take time to mourn those awful losses and then try to move on as well as they can.