October 13, 2008
(More Cherepanov coverage, including a video from the Omsk bench and a clarification on Jagr's role, via Puck Daddy.)
UPDATE 3:57 p.m. EDT: TSN has front-paged this story and is reporting that former NHL draft pick Alexei Cherepanov has died. It's been confirmed by our official Russian comrade, Dmitry Chesnokov of SovSport, who writes:
Cherepanov is dead. He collapsed on the bench on the 18th minute of the third period in the game against Vityaz Chekhov after a collision with Jaromir Jagr [his teammate on Omsk in the KHL]. He went to the bench and his heart stopped. He was taken to the emergency room at a local hospital where the best doctors in town worked for about an hour trying to resuscitate him. He was pronounced dead at 22:55 Moscow time (2:55pm EST). After the news the entire Avangard Omsk squad went to one of the local churches to light candles for Cherepanov.
UPDATE 6:50 p.m. EDT: We'll have a round-up of some Cherepanov coverage later tonight, but for now please check out this NY Times Slap Shot blog post about the tragedy. It's full of new details, some good reporting and at least one bit of big news: "According to the Russian daily Sport-Express, Cherepanov's collapse was not preceded by a collision with another player or blows to the head or chest." This is rather important if true, considering how Jagr is getting maligned right now on some blogs.
Our original post follows below. What a tragedy.
There is a tragic story unfolding over in Russia, but the speed of Internet reporting and the obvious language barriers make us cautious about the details. Here's what Sportbox.ru is reporting, via Beyond the Blueshirts:
Avangard Omsk forward Alexei Cherepanov, during the KHL regular season game against Checkov Vityaz, has lost consciousness on the bench.
During a line change the young forward unexpectedly collided with a teammate. Soon after the 19-year old hockey player's heart stopped.
In connection with this tragic case the post-game press conference with the head coaches of the teams that played has been cancelled.
Here's where the reporting gets a tad questionable. The Alex Ovetjkin blog has been a reliable source for translated Russian news in the past; here's the info it dug out of the comments on that Sportbox.ru story:
According to comments on SportBox.ru it was [Jaromir] Jagr's elbow. Jarg is Cherepanov's teammate. Apparently Jarg didn't see him. Afterwards Jagr was shouting "Wake up Alexei" and was in tears.
You'll also see a bit of other news lower in that Alex Ovetjkin post that, quite frankly, we're not at all comfortable reporting until there's confirmation.
In any case, say a prayer for the kid. This sounds dire. We'll update here as news comes in.