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Korolev playing in memory of folks
By MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun
Igor Korolev is dedicating the remainder of his National Hockey career to his deceased parents.
Still nursing a heavy heart over the recent death of his mother, Korolev returned to the Maple Leafs lineup last night after returning from Galina Korolev's funeral in Moscow. She passed away on Feb. 23 at age 63.
Korolev still is dealing with the death of his father, Boris, who died in October from heart failure after a brief illness.
"It was nice to come home and be back with my kids, but it has been very tough," Korolev said. "When you lose both your parents in such a short time, it's difficult.
"They were my biggest fans, and that's why whatever I do out on the ice is in honour of them. In junior (back in Moscow) my dad never missed a game and my mother only missed the odd one."
Boris and Galina Korolev last came to Canada to visit Igor during the 1997-'98 season, Korolev's first with the Maple Leafs. Igor often would send tapes of his games back to Russia so his parents could watch him play.
"My mom was in the hospital the past four weeks," he said. "She was depressed ever since my father passed away.
"Hopefully hockey will help me take my mind off things."
Maple Leaf players felt for their teammate and his stretch of family misfortune.
"People think we live in a bubble but we don't," goaltender Curtis Joseph said. "We're real people with real personal lives.
"We're just trying to be there for him and support him through his grieving
period. Unless you've been through it, you really don't know what he's