September 24, 2011
As we saw last week, St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak(notes) changed the backplate of his mask this season to honor former Slovakian teammate Pavol Demitra(notes), who was one of the 44 victims of the plane crash that killed the entire roster and coaching staff of the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team.
Jimmy Howard(notes) of the Detroit Red Wings has decided to do the same and honor Brad McCrimmon, Ruslan Salei(notes) and Stefan Liv. All three were members of the Red Wings family that Howard had ties to.
McCrimmon had been an assistant coach under Mike Babcock from 2008 until May when he took the head coaching job at Lokomotiv. Long-time NHL veteran Salei played 75 games in Detroit last season. And Liv played 34 games with Howard when they were both in Grand Rapids of the AHL during the 2006-07 season.
Hockey players aren't the only ones coming to together to help honor the fallen. The wives of Jason LaBarbera(notes), Jamie Lundmark(notes), Olli Jokinen(notes), and Ray Whitney(notes) have begun a fundraising effort that hope to see designer bracelets sold by the significant others of NHL players with proceeds benefiting the families that lost loved ones in the Sept. 7 crash.
To purchase a bracelet, you can visit LoveForLokomotiv.com. Beaded children's bracelets are $25 and $50 for adults. Silicon ones are $10. The Phoenix Coyotes will be the first team to begin selling the bracelets on Oct. 1 and the group of wives is planning to expand the sales throughout the NHL.