Plane crash takes the lives of former Red Wings McCrimmon and Salei and goalie prospect Liv

Ruslan Salei was killed in a Russian plane crash. / Courtesy WDIV-TV

Three hockey players with ties to the Detroit Red Wings have died in a tragic plane crash in Russia.

Former Wings assistant coach and defenseman Brad McCrimmon, defensemen Ruslan Salei, and goalie prospect Stefan Liv were killed when the Yak-42 plane crashed almost immediately after leaving a Russian airport.

Read more Russian Tragedy hits home in Michigan Hockey plane crash isn't the first Russian air safety issue this year Mourners gather to remember the hockey players killed in the crash

Salei played with several NHL teams over his 14-year career. He signed with Detroit last off-season and played in 75 games, netting two goals and 8 assists.

McCrimmon played for Detroit in the early 1990s. He then went on to several other teams in 18 years before returning to the wings to coach under Mike Babcock for the past three seasons. He took the head coaching job with the Lokomotiv team in May.

Liv was drafted by the wings in 2000, but spent most of his time in Europe. He was called up last season a few times, but never saw NHL play.

Forty other people were also died in the crash carrying the Lokomotiv hockey team.

Wings captain Nick Lidstrom was asked Wednesday about what some are calling one of the worst tragedies in sports history. It's a huge loss for the hockey world, something like this happening, Lidstrom stated. I believe they had a game starting or it had started when this happened and they canceled the game. It's a tragedy for the whole hockey world.