Carolina Hurricanes assistant coach Tom Rowe has become the new coach of Russian ice hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, eight months after the entire roster died in a plane crash, Lokomotiv announced Monday.
Three-time Russian champion Lokomotiv is assembling a new squad for its return to the KHL next season after fielding a makeshift team of youth players and loan signings in the junior MHL since the disaster.
“The Lokomotiv hockey club has signed a contract with American expert Tom Rowe, who will lead the KHL team in the 2012-13 season,” Lokomotiv said in a website statement.
Carolina did not reach the playoffs this season, but it is not yet clear when Rowe will start work with Lokomotiv.
Rowe’s assistant will be 1992 Olympic champion Dmitry Yushkevich, who spent five seasons at Lokomotiv as a player and has been KHL team Sibir Novosibirsk’s assistant coach since 2010, the club said.
Rowe was the first U.S.-born NHL player to score more than thirty goals in a season, for the Washington Capitals in 1978-79.
Since retiring, Rowe has been head coach of junior teams the Albany River Rats and Lowell Lock Monsters, and became a Carolina assistant coach in 2008.
The entire Lokomotiv roster, coaching staff and several youth prospects were among 44 people killed when their plane crashed shortly after take-off on the way to the first game of the KHL season in Minsk, Belarus in September.