Mid-flight incidents are a common occurrence for frequent fliers, airport employees, and flight attendants mainly due to the body’s lack of oxygenated blood flow to the brain due to the altitude of the plane. Mix this natural series of bodily events with a mass amount of alcohol and there you have a recipe for disaster. At least, this partially explains what occurred when former NHL hockey player, Oleg Saprykin, was removed from a flight from Sochi to Moscow, Russia earlier this week.
In the video above, you can see the aftermath of Saprykin’s initial blow up where he allegedly struck a female flight attendant after she refused to provide the 37-year-old professional hockey player with more whiskey during the midst of their flight to Russia’s capital.
The Events Leading to Oleg Saprykin’s Arrest
According to Russian publication, Interfax.ru, Oleg Saprykin was in his business class seat clearly intoxicated before the present flight attendant had decided that he had enough to drink for the remainder of the flight. This is when the former Buffalo Sabre winger became belligerent, striking the female flight attendant, leaving her bruised, and even starting confrontations with another passenger on the flight before the captain was forced to make an emergency landing at the Voronezh airport.
This is where the footage above was taken by an identified passenger on the plane of a clearly agitated Saprykin who aggressively talks to a male flight attendant, pilot, and the assaulted female flight attendant who kept her distance from the hostile hockey player. Towards the end of the footage, Saprykin can be seen verbally assaulting the woman who refused to provide him with his alcohol fix before the video ends.
Unfortunately, for Saprykin, he was forcibly arrested at the scene and placed in a cell only wearing his undergarments, according to BSO. The flight attendant who was supposedly hit by Saprykin refused to press charges and was Saprykin was released from the Russian jail institution after paying a small fine.
Oleg Saprykin’s NHL Career
After being drafted 11th overall by the Calgary Flames in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Oleg Saprykin went on to play for three professional NHL teams in his seven-year long career–including the additional two the Arizona Coyotes and Ottawa Sabres. Saprykin was able to rack up a total of 137 points, 82 assists, in 325 games played throughout his career.
Even though Saprykin’s NHL days might be behind him, the left-handed left winger currently plays professional hockey in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.
However, his semi-celebrity status and athleticism could not keep from being arrested for his faulty actions mid-flight that not only endangered the life of his victim but for all of those were on the same flight as the drunken pro-hockey player. Hopefully, Oleg can hold his liquor better in the future.