New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather issued the following statement regarding the tragic plane crash in Russia that claimed the life of several members of Yaroslavl Lokomotiv of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) earlier today, including former Rangers defensemen Alexander Karpovtsev and Karel Rachunek, and 2003 Rangers draft pick Jan Marek:
“The New York Rangers organization is greatly saddened after learning of today’s tragedy,” said Sather. “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.”
Karpovtsev, 41, was one of the first four Russian-born players to have his name inscribed on the Stanley Cup as a member of the New York Rangers 1994 championship team. A veteran of 12 NHL seasons, Karpovtsev registered 34 goals and 154 assists for 188 points, along with 430 penalty minutes in 596 games with the Rangers, Toronto, Chicago, the NY Islanders and Florida. The Moscow, Russia native was acquired by the Rangers from the Quebec Nordiques in exchange for Mike Hurlbut on September 7, 1993. He skated in six seasons as a Blueshirt from 1993-1998, tallying 22 goals and 75 assists for 97 points, along with 211 penalty minutes in 280 games. In addition, Karpovtsev recorded 10 points (two goals, eight assists) and 36 penalty minutes in 44 career playoff contests with the Rangers, including four assists in 17 games during the team’s Stanley Cup Championship run in 1994. Karpovtsev was entering his fourth season as an assistant coach with Lokomotiv.
Rachunek, 33, skated in 371 career games over seven seasons with the Rangers, Ottawa and New Jersey, registering 22 goals and 118 assists for 140 points, along with 227 penalty minutes. Rachunek was acquired by the Rangers, along with Alexandre Giroux, from Ottawa in exchange for Greg de Vries on March 9, 2004. He registered 30 points (seven goals, 23 assists) in 78 games over two seasons as a Blueshirt. The Zlin, Czech Republic native also recorded four assists in six playoff contests with the Rangers in 2007. Rachunek was entering his second consecutive season with Lokomotiv.
Marek, 32, was originally selected by the Rangers in the eighth round, 243rd overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He was traded to Los Angeles, along with Jason Ward and Marc-Andre Cliché, in exchange for Sean Avery and John Seymour on February 5, 2007. Marek was entering his sixth season in Russia’s top league and first with Lokomotiv.