July 9, 1974|
Riga, Latvian SSR, Soviet Union
|Died||September 7, 2011
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||210 lb (95 kg; 15 st 0 lb)|
|Played for||Pārdaugava Rīga
HK Rīga 2000
|NHL Draft||230th overall, 1998
Kārlis Skrastiņš (July 9, 1974 – September 7, 2011) was a Latvian professional ice hockey player. Skrastiņš was drafted by the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League in 1998 as a defenceman and spent twelve years in the league playing for the Predators, the Colorado Avalanche, the Florida Panthers, and the Dallas Stars.
For the 2011-2012 season, Skrastiņš left the NHL and signed a contract to play in Russia for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). However, he never got to play a game for Lokomotiv as he was killed when a plane carrying the entire team crashed on September 7, 2011.
Skrastiņš was drafted by Nashville Predators with the 230th pick in the ninth round of 1998 NHL Entry Draft. On October 15, 2002, against the New York Islanders, he scored a 5-on-3 shorthanded goal. He played for Nashville for five seasons until being traded to the Colorado Avalanche in 2003. On February 8, 2007, he played in his 487th consecutive game to pass Tim Horton for the longest playing streak in NHL history for a defenceman. Skrastiņš' streak ended at 495 games, when he missed a February 25, 2007 game against the Anaheim Ducks with a knee injury. He had previously missed only one other game due to injury in his career — against St. Louis on February 18, 2000, with a minor shoulder injury. The streak led to him being given the nickname "Ironman".
In his fourth season with the Avalanche in 2007–08, he was traded to the Florida Panthers for Ruslan Salei on February 26, 2008. In his first full season with the Panthers in 2008–09, Skrastiņš scored a career high 18 points in 80 games. On October 16, 2008, he played his 600th career NHL game against the Minnesota Wild and on November 1, 2008, he scored his 100th point in his NHL career in a 3–2 loss fittingly against his original club, the Nashville Predators.
On July 2, 2009, he was signed by the Dallas Stars to a two-year contract worth $2.75 million. He scored his only two goals of the 2009–10 season, including the game winner, on December 19 in a 4–3 Stars victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
On September 7, 2011, he was killed, when a Yakovlev Yak-42 passenger aircraft, carrying nearly his entire Lokomotiv team, crashed just outside Yaroslavl, Russia. The team was traveling to Minsk to play their opening game of the season, with its coaching staff and prospects. Lokomotiv officials said "'everyone from the main roster was on the plane plus four players from the youth team.'"
Regular season and playoffs
|2004–05||HK Rīga 2000||BLR||34||8||17||25||30||3||0||0||0||25|
|2004–05||HK Rīga 2000||LHL||4||0||4||4||0||9||3||10||13||33|
- Life News (in Russian). Lifenews.ru http://www.lifenews.ru/news/68936. Retrieved September 7, 2011. Missing or empty
- "Karlis Skrastins #37 – D". TSN.ca. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
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- Associated Press (2007-02-26). "Skrastins' consecutive game streak ends at 495". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
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|url=value (help). CBS 11 TV.com. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- Associated Press (2009-12-19). "Stars snap Red Wings' four-game winning streak". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- "NHL defender in Yaroslavl". Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. 2011-05-17. Archived from the original on 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2011-05-17.
- "MInistry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia confirms that Skrastins has died". Tvnet (in Latvian). Retrieved September 7, 2011.
- "First pictures from the crash of Yak-42 near Yaroslavl". Lifenews.ru. 2011-09-07. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
- "The list of Lokomotiv players who died". Lifenews.ru. 2011-09-07. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
- "Pavol Demitra among 43 killed in Russian plane crash". Toronto: theglobeandmail.com. 2011-09-07. Retrieved 2011-09-07.[dead link]
- Lynn Berry (7 September 2011). "Russian jet crash kills 43, many top hockey stars". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved 2011-09-07.