Cherepanov dies during KHL game
New York Ranger prospect Alexei Cherepanov collapsed on the bench at or near the end of Omsk's Kontinental Hockey League game and died a short time later, he was 19.
Omsk head coach, Wayne Fleming said Cherepanov collapsed on the bench during the third period of the game and did not see anything that happened on the ice that may have contributed to it.
Kukla's Korner, Eric McErlain and Puck Daddy are all following this one.
Here's Eric's description of what happened: "In the 18th minute of the third period of Avangard Omsk's game against Chekhov Vityaz, Cherepanov collided with Jaromir Jagr during a line change. Once Cherepanov got to the bench, he collapsed, and team doctors determined that his heart had stopped and immediately began attempts to revive him."
It's hard not to think of former Red Wings defenceman Jiri Fischer when something like this happens. Fischer collapsed on the bench during an NHL game in the fall of 2005 and was eventually resuscitated using a portable defibrillator, something that was unlikely to be available at the KHL game.
TSN is reporting that the ambulance that was at the game had already left and had to be called back, which may have cost crucial minutes.
Another NHLer, Sergei Zholtok, died during a game in Belarus when he was playing for a Latvian team during the 2004-05 lockout. Zholtok, 31, was known to have a heart condition, but we haven't yet heard of any sort of preexisting circumstances for Cherepanov.
Cherepanov was the 17th overall pick in 2007, but only slid that far because of concerns over the lack of a transfer agreement with Russia. He was an exceptional talent and likely would have become a very good NHL-calibre player once he came to North America.
He had seven goals and 12 points in 14 KHL games this season prior to tonight's fateful game.
UPDATE It's difficult to watch, but there is now video available on YouTube of Cherepanov collapsed on the bench.
UPDATE NYT Slap Shot provides an excellent translation of a story that describes how the whole scene unfolded.