Plane crash huge blow to hockey fraternity


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08-09-2011 08:06 AM


ABC Canberra 666

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ABC Canberra 666


08-09-2011 08:06 AM



08-09-2011 08:47 AM

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2011-09-08 08:06:57

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CAVE, Peter




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Plane crash huge blow to hockey fraternity -

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Lou Vairo from USA Hockey says he knew the coach and some of the players who perished in the plane
crash in Russia. He says the loss of so many talented players will be a massive blow to the
tight-knit international hockey fraternity.

PETER CAVE: The loss of so many talented players will be a massive blow to the tight-knit
international hockey fraternity.

Lou Vairo is a former NHL and Olympic coach now with the governing body USA Hockey.

He spoke to Emily Bourke.

LOU VAIRO: This is super tragic because it's a team, it's a group, they all get wiped out at one
time with one blow and it's shocking.

I knew the coach Brad McKinnon a little bit. I knew several of the players.

And it's a global disaster in hockey because you had Ukrainian, Latvian, German, from different
countries that perished.

And all those players that I knew were real good guys, good players. And it's shocking. That's the
only thing I can say.

EMILY BOURKE: And as far as the loss of talent how would you describe the calibre of these players?

LOU VAIRO: Well it's an elite league team, top level. That team could be team of international
hockey league, it's high level hockey in the Kontinental League.

And some of them are all-stars, have been previous all-stars and champions in various league and
international events.

EMILY BOURKE: It's not unusual for international players or coaches for that matter to move around
the circuit together?

LOU VAIRO: NHL, Americans and Canadians have for many years, 50 years, gone to Europe playing
coach. I did it myself as a coach.

I go back though in the days of when it was the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, East Germany. You
weren't able to have the kind of discourse that you have now and friendships that you have.

I mean I travel around the US and I'm shocked at how many people from all over the world in the US
are involved in our hockey programs, including Australians and they're just a big part of the
hockey family.

PETER CAVE: Lou Vairo from USA Hockey speaking to Emily Bourke.