MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's sports minister says the hockey team wiped out by a plane crash last week will not take part in this year's Kontinental Hockey League season.
Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Monday that Lokomotiv Yaroslavl would be demoted to a lower league as part of a gradual rebuilding program.
Lokomotiv President Yury Yakovlyev says the team might begin playing in December in the Major Hockey League, the second-highest level in Russian hockey.
Top hockey officials had earlier expressed hopes Lokomotiv could be revived in time to play this season by drafting in players from other KHL teams. Those plans appear to have been shelved in favor of longer-term reconstruction.