To piggy-back on an obviously emotional Dan Sterlace column (don’t waste your breath on ESPN, Dan, they’re not worth it), I think I can speak on behalf of my fellow Sabrenoise writers, and hockey fans everywhere, in expressing deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers to the family and friends of those who perished earlier today in western Russia.
An already dark summer has gotten even darker today for fans of this great sport, who no doubt mourn the losses of some recognizable names who were on that plane.
What can’t be forgotten, however, are the not so recognizable names on the list of passengers.
It is unfathomable that an entire hockey team could be gone in an instant like that. Lame words such as mine cannot honor these men and women properly, so I won’t embarrass myself.
What I can say, though, is that whether you’re a player, coach, trainer, manager, owner, beat writer, blogger, or just plain fan, today’s events will no doubt affect and touch all of us in one way or another. I have seen tributes already and, no doubt, there will be more in the days ahead. I am seeing the hockey community coming together in so many ways, and this is why we have the best fans of any sport, hands down.
May every puck dropped at center ice and every goal scored this year, whether it’s in the NHL, AHL, KHL, or some dimly lit rink somewhere far away, honor the lives these people led, and the loved ones they left behind.
Don’t tweet anyone today, just hug them instead.