Former St. Louis Blues player Pavol Demitra, shown in this 4/9/2003 file photo. UPI/FILES

I’m gathering  various reports on a Russian jet that was carrying a KHL ice hockey team that has crashed while taking off Wednesday in western Russia, killing at least 44 people and leaving one critically injured. It is possible that former St. Louis Blues player Pavol Demitra was on that plane.

The plane that went down is a Yak-42 and it crashed immediately after leaving an airport near the city of Yaroslavl, on the Volga River about 150 miles northeast of Moscow.

The plane could have been carrying as many as 45 people including eight crew and 37 players, coaches and staff of the team, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Last year this team finished third in the KHL. The team is coached by Canadian Brad McCrimmon and has a few players with NHL experience: Karlis Skrastins, Ruslan Salei, Karel Rachunek and Demitra.