Watch: Stars talk about Karlis Skrastins

September, 7, 2011
9/07/11
3:19
PM ET


Another tragedy struck the NHL Wednesday and this time it hit the Dallas Stars particularly hard. Former Stars defenseman Karlis Skrastins was among at least 43 people killed when a plane carrying members of the KHL hockey team Lokomotiv crashed shortly after takeoff.

"This has been a hard summer for the NHL and this is obviously devastating news again," said Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk. "It hits home very hard here because Karlis was a great teammate for a lot of these guys and always gave his hardest on his ice and was very much loved by his teammates. He was a great father. This is tragic news."

Skrastins, 37, played the last two seasons for the Stars, playing 153 games and registering 21 points (5 goals, 16 assists). He became a free agent in July and signed with Lokomotiv.

His former teammates in Dallas took the news hard.

"These guys are devastated," said Nieuwendyk. "I know Kari Lehtonen came in this morning, heard the news and turned around and went right out of here home. I think he was close with Karlis. Everybody respected the way Karlis played and gave his all every night."

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Video courtesy of Dallas Stars

Mark Stepneski

ESPNDallas.com
Mark Stepneski joined ESPNDallas.com in July 2010. A former news/special projects producer for KXAS-TV, he has run the Andrew's Dallas Stars Page website since 1997.

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