This summer we lost four members of the Rangers family. There has never been a summer so tragic for either the NHL or the Rangers.
Among those who lost their lives yesterday was Alexander Karpovtsev, a member of the Rangers Stanley Cup team of 1993-94, a Gold Medalist at the World Championships in 1993 and one of the first four Russian players to have their names inscribed for posterity on the Stanley Cup.
Wayne Gretzky said of Karpovtsev: "He was an honest guy who gave as much as he took, blocking shots, going into the corners, taking guys out in front. And as far as his personality, it's true, he was always smiling on the bus, on the plane; just a really solid guy who everybody enjoyed being around. He played as big and he played as hard as anybody."
Our prayers go to all those who have lost their lives and those who they left behind. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon them, and give them peace.
EXCERPTS FROM THE RANGERS STATEMENT ON TRAGIC PLANE CRASH IN RUSSIA
Former Rangers Defensemen Alexander Karpovtsev and Karel Rachunek, and 2003 Draft Pick Jan Marek Among the VictimsNew York, September 7, 2011 –
"The New York Rangers organization is greatly saddened after learning of today’s tragedy... Words cannot begin to express the magnitude of devastation for such unimaginable loss."
Two Rangers alumni and one former draft pick perished in the accident. Alexander Karpotsev helped to bring a Stanley Cup Championship to New York in 1994. Karel Rachunek played two seasons in New York, and Jan Marek was a former draft pick. Our sincerest condolences go out to the families of these players, and the families of all those lost today...