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Wednesday afternoon notes: "the darkest day in the history of our sport"

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The hockey world is still stunned by today's news of the plane crash in Russia which has claimed over 40 lives, including three with connections to the Nashville Predators - former players Karlis Skrastins and Josef Vasicek, and defenseman Robert Dietrich, who played with the Milwaukee Admirals. IIHF President Rene Fasel quite properly called this "the darkest day in the history of our sport."

After the jump, we have recollections and updates on this developing story, along with other notes from around the hockey world...

Nashville Predators News

To start things off, let's recall a great Karlis Skrastins highlight - Pete Weber sent me his audio from a remarkable play, the first 3-on-5 goal in Nashville Predators history, scored by "Bobby Skrastins" against the Islanders on October 15, 2002:

Karlis Skrastins 3 on 5 goal  (mp3)

The Temperatures May Be Falling, But The Summer From Hell Continues | Pull My (Fang)Finger
AJ shakes his head at what we've seen over the last few months, and recalls Skrastins as a steady, dependable presence on the Nashville blueline.

Two former Predators killed in Russian plane crash - The Tennessean
Josh Cooper got reaction from some of the Preds to today's awful news.

Smashville 24/7: 2011-12 Preview: Francis Bouillon
Ryan's preview series continues with the dinged-up Cube.

Previewing the Predators’ goaltending for 2011-12, part one… | Section 303
Can Pekka Rinne top Tomas Vokoun's franchise record for wins in a season (36)?

Preds On The Glass: POTG Wednesday Headlines, News, and Links: Hockey is Back in Smashville
Buddy's links kick off with training camp information...

Around the NHL

List of Passengers On Board Fatal Yak-42 Flight - Puck Worlds
Here's a complete list of the 43 who lost their lives earlier today.

Plane crash in Russia involves KHL team -
Here's a comprehensive report on today's events from an NHL perspective.

Spector on KHL: The team is gone -
An air disaster is especially troubling in the sports business, which involves teams traveling by plane on a regular basis.

New coach McCrimmon carved lengthy NHL career -
Brad McCrimmon once made up a phenomenal defense pair with Mark Howe back in the 80's, and went to the KHL to pursue a head coaching opportunity.

Canes Now - Remembering Josef Vasicek, 1980-2011
Vasicek was drafted by Carolina, traded to Nashville, and then traded back to the Canes just a few months later.

My first Pavol Demitra profile |
Mike Russo shares his first impression of Pavol Demitra, from when he was just traded to Minnesota in 2006.

Karel Rachunek " Michelle Kenneth's Hockey & Musings
Michelle remembers the former NHL defenseman as a devoted family man.

Key Games in 2011-2012 - The Cannon
You don't think Columbus has the Preds in their sights? 3 of the top seven games listed here are against Nashville.

No timetable for Crosby’s NHL return - The Globe and Mail
Sidney Crosby addressed the media today, but there's really no news here. He's not 100% ready to go, but should be at some point. When? Nobody knows. Oh, and he's against head shots.

The NHL's Most Interesting Name: 1920s & 30s Part III - Arctic Ice Hockey
Rennison Manners? That's a real name? Apparently so...

Do young forwards shoot more as they mature? - Broad Street Hockey
Great work by Eric T. here, arguing against the notion of a guy like Sergei Kostitsyn learning to shoot more aggressively as he enters his prime years.

Colorado Avalanche Blogger Roundtable Day 3: Looking Back at the Trades - Mile High Hockey
Have Colorado's moves brought them a winning combination, or consigned them to the basement for years to come?

And lastly, as found at Puck Daddy, here's a news report from Russia Today on the type of plane involved in today's crash (actually I found a different, later report than the one at Puck Daddy, but I never heard of Russia Today before seeing that piece):