Very sad day. Huge surprise.
The Rangers have confirmed an earlier report that Alexei Cherepanov, their first round draft pick from 2007, died in a game played this evening in Russia.
“We are extremely saddened by the tragic passing of Alexei,” Glen Sather said in a statement. “On behalf of the New York Rangers organization, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family. Alexei was an intelligent, energetic young man, with tremendous talent and an extremely bright future.”
According to TSN, Cherepanov collapsed on the bench during the third period, but not as a result of a specific hit or play. The site quotes head coach Wayne Fleming as saying medical personnel tried to revive the player, but without success.
Cherepanov had seven goals and 12 points in 14 games this year for Omsk, where he was a teammate of Jaromir Jagr. The Russian wing was the 17th pick overall in the 2007 draft, although most scouting services had him rated much higher.
Although he had come to a Rangers prospect camp immediately following that draft, he never came back to New York. At the time the player expressed his desire to play in the NHL, but given the precarious relations between the NHL and the upstart Continental Hockey League, there were increasing questions about whether Cherepanov would ever play for the Rangers.
Still, this is a tragic blow—a devastating loss of an immense talent, and a player some saw as a significant part of the Rangers future.
Very sad day. Huge surprise.
Unbelievable the shock to me is like the day Len Bias died (and I realize Len Bias brought it on himself so don't bring it up) the potential was staggering. Life is so fragile there really are no guarantees.
This is a tricky, uncomfortable situation.
Report: Rangers seek draft pick in wake of Cherepanov's death
ESPN.com news services
Updated: November 7, 2008, 1:55 PM ET
Three weeks after the death of top prospect Alexei Cherepanov, the New York Rangers are seeking a compensatory pick in the second round of the 2009 NHL draft, saying "with all due respect to Alexei's family and his memory, he is technically eligible to be drafted again next year," the New York Post has reported.
The team is citing Article 8.3 (b) in the NHL's collective bargaining agreement, which mandates compensatory selections be provided when teams are unable to sign first-round draft picks.
Alexei Cherepanov, the top-ranked European player in the 2007 draft, was the Rangers' first-round pick that year.
"The question is with the one parenthetical phrase in Article 8.3 (b) that refers compensation for an unsigned first-round draft pick who is '… again eligible for the Entry Draft or becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent,'" Rangers assistant general manager Cam Hope told the newspaper. "That language was inserted to clarify that a team would be owed a compensatory pick even if they were to re-draft that player or sign him as a free agent.
"It seems now as if that phrase is unintentionally precluding the deceased from being included as eligible for compensation. We understand that this is a sensitive issue, but with all due respect to Alexei's family and his memory, he is technically eligible to be drafted again next year."
Cherepanov was the 17th selection in the 2007 draft. He died Oct. 13 after collapsing during a game in Russia while playing in a Continental Hockey League game with the Omsk club Avangard. He was 19 years old.
"We are not attempting to capitalize on a tragedy, but there would be no question regarding the Rangers' right to a compensatory pick if Cherepanov had been revived and survived the incident and were on life support," Hope said. "If an unsigned player sustained a massive injury on or off the ice, the drafting team would get a compensatory pick.
"We believe that the letter of the law applies in this case, but even if there is a disagreement on that, it's clear that the spirit of the law applies."
Rangers general manager Glen Sather first put the matter on the table in Chicago last month at the league's GM meetings, the Post reported.
"At this point, the league has taken no position on the Rangers' request," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the newspaper. "The matter is in front of the league's general managers, who will address the subject at their next meeting in March.
"It's possible that the language of the CBA would need to be amended to address situations such as this one. If that's the case, then we would need to negotiate that with the Players' Association."
On the other hand, it IS a business and they are entitled to pursue remedies if they are available. However, reading the rule as it is, I can't see them prevailing unless the league chooses to re-write the rule. After all, they re-wrote the rulebook during the playoffs last season to insert the "Avery" rule.
By all technicality, no pick should be received. Fair/unfair, whatever.. unless they can prove without a doubt in the mind of anyone that Cherepanov would have not signed on with the rangers by 2010, no pick will (or atleast should be, never know with this league) be awarded.
http://www.nypost.com/seven/03112009...vs__159043.htmNHL general managers have given their approval to the Rangers' request for a compensatory pick in June's Entry Draft in the wake of the death of 2007 first-round selection Alexei Cherepanov, sources have told The Post.
Though it is unclear whether Article 8.3 (b) of the CBA must be amended to accommodate this specific circumstance, the Blueshirts now stand to receive the 17th pick of this year's second round following Glen Sather's presentation yesterday at the NHL GMs meetings in Naples, Fla.
It seems very tasteless and selfish but as McGarrett would say on Hawaii Five 0.... You bury the dead and move on!!!