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KHL head vows to rebuild after plane crash

People wearing the club jerseys of Russian ice

People wearing the club jerseys of Russian ice hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl light candles during a commemorative service in a church in Yaroslavl. (Sept. 8, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

MOSCOW -- The Russian ice hockey team whose players were killed in a plane crash will be rebuilt in time to take part in this year's Kontinental Hockey League season, according to the league leader.

All but one of the 28 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl players traveling to Belarus for their first game of the season was killed when their Yak-42 jet crashed on Wednesday. Alexander Galimov survived the crash along with a crew member. Galimov was transferred Thursday to the Vishnevsky Institute in Moscow, around 150 miles southwest from the site of the crash.

KHL chief Alexander Medvedev said Thursday that each team in the league should volunteer up to three players each toward building a new Lokomotiv squad. He says it will free up between 40 and 45 players for Lokomotiv to pick.

"The 18 KHL clubs whose representatives I have managed to speak with have supported this proposal," Medvedev said.

Medvedev said up to 35 players have already volunteered to join. Along with recruiting from other clubs, Medvedev said Lokomotiv will promote five players from its youth team.

The KHL is an international club league that features 24 teams from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Slovakia.

Lokomotiv is a leading force in Russian hockey, winning the Russian League championship in 1997, 2002 and 2003.

A memorial ceremony for victims of the crash will be held Saturday at Lokomotiv Yaroslavl's hockey arena. -- AP

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