October 04, 2011
The emotional impact is still being felt from the plane crash that killed 44 people, including all of the players on the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl last month. Tributes were held all over the world in their memory.
Now, the focus has shifted to the ones they left behind: their families.
The Lokomotiv Wives Fund is picking up momentum via a Facebook drive. On Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. in Pittsburgh, the effort to help out these families will get a significant boost in attention: The Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins, arch rivals on the ice, are teaming up to raise funds for those families affected by the Lokomotiv crash.
From the Capitals:
The Capitals and Penguins today announced a joint effort to raise money for the families of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, the KHL team that perished in a plane crash Sept. 7 in Russia. Caps and Pens players will wear jerseys with commemorative Lokomotiv patches at the Oct. 13 game, then autograph the game-worn and game-issued jerseys afterward and auction them off at www.nhl.com. All proceeds will benefit the Lokomotitv players' children and families.
"The tragic plane crash involving Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League has affected the entire hockey community," said Capitals Vice President and General Manager George McPhee. "We agreed that this was a great opportunity for both clubs to work together to raise money for all involved in this unfortunate loss."
Russian players Alex Ovechkin(notes) of the Capitals and Evgeni Malkin(notes) of the Penguins will participate in a ceremonial opening faceoff. The auction will begin at puck drop on Oct. 13 and run through Oct. 27 at www.nhl.com
Wives and girlfriends of the Caps and Pens players also will be selling remembrance bracelets to benefit the Lokomotiv families. The Caps' event will take place at their home opener on Oct. 8 against Carolina at Verizon Center. The Pens' event will coincide with the Oct. 13 game.
The Caps told us that both teams had a desire to make this happen, but that players like Ovechkin and Malkin were the heart of the effort.