[Update 11:34 a.m.] @StarsPR: "The Dallas Stars are saddened by the loss of former defenseman Karlis Skrastins in today's tragic plane crash in Russia" [/Update]
[Update 11:15 a.m.] Karlis Skrastins has been confirmed killed in the plan crash by Latvian officials. There are no words. [End Update]
[Update] Various reports are stating that Karlis Skrastins, along with the entire roster, was indeed on board the plane and did not survive. While we have yet to receive 100% confirmation, there are just too many reports to deny that this incredible tragedy has occurred. [End Update]
According to reports coming out of Eastern Europe this morning, former Dallas Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins is believed to have been aboard a Yak-42 passenger plane that crashed shortly after take off in the city of Yaroslavl.
Early indications are that only one aboard survived with severe injuries.
Russian news agencies are reporting the plane that crashed near the Russian city of Yaroslavl on Wednesday, killing 36 of 37 passengers, was carrying KHL professional hockey team Lokomotiv.
The team's roster includes several former NHL players, including ex-Ottawa Senators Pavol Demitra and Karel Rachunek.
The Yakolev Yak-42 passenger plane was reportedly carrying the team to its season-opening game against Minsk.
According to a report by Russian sports news site SovSport, which was subsequently translated by Yahoo!'s Puck Daddy Blog, the plane broke into two pieces on takeoff.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution has it as well.
Updates on Twitter are still rolling in and the number of passengers might be 42, with as many as two survivors including player Alexander Galimov [Puck Daddy]
Things are not 100% confirmed yet. We will continue to hope and pray for our friend Karlis Skrastins, his family, and every other man and woman aboard that plane.