Ruslan Albertovich Salei, Belarusian hockey player, defender, Belarus' national team captain. Belarus' Merited Master of Sports (2002). Born in Minsk on November 2, 1974.
Ruslan Salei is one of the best sportsmen in Belarus’ hockey history. Being a part of Belarus national team, he represented Belarus at all the three Olympic Games (1998, 2002, 2010). Belarus’ Champion (1993, 1994, 1995).
Salei has played 917 games in the strongest league in the world in 1996- 2011. He took 204 KHL totals (45+159) playing for the KHL clubs Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1996- 2006), Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings. In 2003 year Ruslan Salei became Belarus’ first ice hockey player to be in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Ruslan Salei passed away on September 7, 2011. Salei with Russian club Lokomotiv was onboard of the Yak-42 jet crashed near Yaroslavl.
Nowadays the Belarus national hockey federation doesn’t use the number 24 for the national team players. It was Salei’s number in the national team. The day before the first anniversary of the air crash near Yaroslavl the first Ruslan Salei Memorial Tournament was held to commemorate Ruslan Salei’s memory. This tournament is held annually.
Simply the Best is a book written about Ruslan Salei by the hockey player’s friend Sergei Olekhnovich.