Posted on: October 14, 2008 5:08 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2008 5:30 pm

Cherepanov - A Different Perspective

There are a lot of stories going around the internet about what happened to Alexei Cherepanov - how he passed away, why he passed away, what happened to him etc.  None of them change the fact that a life has been lost.  Instead of trying to delve into all of the above questions, I was fortunate to come across a blog entry that seemed to take a different perspective - the right perspective. 

Jess Rubenstein is the author of The Prospect Park - a blog that is mainly about coverage of Ranger prospects on a daily basis but it gets expanded out to the Canadian Juniors, NCAA and whatever leagues that young players are chasing the dream of becoming NHL players. Jess brings the fans and prospects together so they are not the "unknowns" by the time the prospects make it to a Ranger training camp. The fans get to learn of what a prospect goes though and the prospect gets to learn about what the Ranger fans are expecting from them.  Jess will talk to anyone and everyone who sees the prospects in action so readers get more than just one set of eyes as these kids grow into possible pro players.

Courtesy of Jess Rubenstein of The Prospect Parkhere is his story - a look at a more serious developing problem when 3 talented young men in 8 months either lose their lives or are forced to quit playing. So let's put away the conspiracy theories and other controversial items - allow me (via Jess) to show a different side to this tragic story.


I got to meet him a couple of times, he was a shy kid who looked as if he was wondering what the fuss was all about. So much was made about Alexei Cherepanov and when he would join the Rangers but the one thing I had always wondered about was did anyone ever ask Cherepanov what he ever wanted.

We will not get a chance to find out as Ranger fans everywhere mourn the loss of Alexei Cherepanov at 19. By now you have heard enough different versions that only one thing really matters which is that Cherepanov is gone and we are all left wondering how could this happen?

At first the biggest problem I had was the differing reports that described what happened to Cherepanov but now more than anything else I am more bothered by seeing that people are posting the tape of Cherepanov collapsing on the Omsk bench. What news value is there in showing what was part of his final moments?

I am both saddened and disgusted by those who posted the video under the guise of "the need to know". I am sure those who posted that clip will find some reason to justify why they posted the video but don't bother telling me as I do not think anything can justify watching someone suffer.

In today's instant coverage of the news there are times where compassion and good taste get lost. I guess that is why I will remain a small fish in the media world because I am not going to cause anyone some pain just so I can gain hits or attention. I look at it as if maybe if that was someone you cared about who was suffering and the whole world was getting to watch it then you (we hope) would think differently.

It does not matter in the end whether an ambulance left early or was there a working defibrillator as I have this very bad feeling that when all the medical tests are run that the final cause of death with be something called Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM is a disease of the mycardium (the muscle of the heart) in which a portion of the myocardium is hypertrophied (thickened) without any obvious cause. It is perhaps most famous as a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes in all sports.

The occurrence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a significant cause of sudden unexpected cardiac death in any age group and as a cause of disabling cardiac symptoms.

The reason why I believe this to be the case is because of the picture of the young man on our left is Mickey Renaud who like Cherepanov passed away at age 19 out of nowhere.

If you were not aware last February 18th, Renaud was with friends at home when he collapsed and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. It was as shocking a loss to the Spitfires (and Calgary Flames who held his draft rights) as it is today to both fans of the Rangers and the Avangard Omsk.

So now the biggest question on everyone's mind is how come nobody detected this during all the medical testing that an athlete undergoes? From what we have learned sadly via experience is that unless a doctor knows exactly what to look for then it can escape detection.

Sometimes somebody gets lucky and they catch it before someone loses their life as was the case of David Carle the kid brother of Matt Carle who plays for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Carle withdrew from the 2008 NHL Entry Draft after being told by doctors that he also had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Carle was lucky as while at the NHL Prospect Combine it was a questionable EKG that alerted the testers to suggest Carle that he undergo further testing. It may have meant that Carle had to give up his hockey career but Carle was the lucky one.

There is only one really true confirmed fact and that is at just 19, Alexei Cherepanov is no longer with us. As we sit and wonder how this could have happened the first thing that comes to mind is what did everyone miss?

The answer is that we do not know and maybe when we see that 3 talent hockey players having been determined to suffer from a heart ailment (if HCM is the final cause) then all of the hockey world will put aside their petty childish differences and work together to find a way to catch this disease before another talented young man suffers.

While this is not meant to be my version of playing doctor as I will leave that to the experts but rather I am hoping that people will realize that if a reportedly healthy 19 year old could see his life end so quickly and without warning then what about the rest of us?

Thanks to an EKG test they were able to catch Carle's HCM so my hope is that if just one of you reading this picks up the phone and calls his doctor to schedule a test then something good will come out of this tragedy.

Forget the finger pointing and go get yourself tested as I know firsthand what the pain of losing someone to a heart attack feels like. I lost my own father when I was just 20 so if no matter what your age is; if you care about those around you then get yourself checked out.

Now we will never get to know what Cherepanov could have done and that is the biggest shame as no 19 year old is supposed to die no matter what the reason.

So now that you finished reading this, how about picking up the telephone and making an appointment to take an EKG?

After all I want you to be reading Prospect Park for a very long time.

One last thing before I cover the Prospects as someone told me about a great picture about Dubinsky showing his heart

If you [haven't seen it, it] was Brandon Dubinsky consoling Nikolai Zherdev on the Ranger bench during the warmups. [Greg C: Zherdev was alone on the bench and Dubinsky came over to console - touching picture]

It is a huge reason why Brandon Dubinsky is so special a person."

Thanks Jess for bringing this to the forefront and hopefully in time we can come up with something to prevent these tragedies from happening.

Posted on: February 25, 2008 5:14 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2008 2:25 pm

2008 NHL Trade Deadline Rumors and Deals

2:24 pm, Deadline Day (legend = BOLD means done deal)
Biggest chip Marian Hossa maybe to Pittsburgh according to rumor on

1:44 pm, Deadline Day (legend = BOLD means done deal)
Red Wings discussing trade for Los Angeles defenseman Brad Stuart as reported by

12:55 pm, Deadline Day (legend = BOLD means done deal)
The NHL Network is reporting a deal is being worked on between Columbus and Colorado for Adam Foote. UPDATE: deal done - Columbus gets conditional draft picks.

12:52 pm, Deadline Day (legend = BOLD means done deal)
Sources out of Chicago claim that Robert Lang has been traded - no details as of yet - according to

12:00 pm, Deadline Day (legend = BOLD means done deal)
Tuomo Ruuto to the Carolina Hurricanes as being reported by UPDATE: Andrew Ladd is rumored to be returining for Ruutu

11:52 am, Deadline Day (legend = BOLD means done deal)
With the Brad Richards event over with, teams that lost out (notably teams not named Dallas) are starting to direct their efforts elsewhere and one of those teams, Vancouver, is looking at Olli Jokinen - as reported by

11:40 am, Deadline Day (legend = BOLD means done deal)
TSN is reporting that the Lightning and the Dallas Stars have agreed on a trade for Brad Richards and are awaiting approval from Richards of the deal (based on no-trade clause). UPDATE: Richards has agreed to waive his no-trade clause and is shipped with Johan Holmqvist to Dallas for G Mike Smith, Jussi Jokinen and Jeff Halpern.

11:26 am, Deadline Day (legend = BOLD means done deal)
Brian Campbell (BUF) to the San Jose Sharks - as reported by TSN. UPDATE: Steve Bernier and a 1st Round pick go to Buffalo.

11:26 am, Deadline Day (legend = BOLD means done deal)
Our contacts at have told us that the Flyers cancelled practice today. Could be sign of more to come out of Philly - stay posted.

11:05 am, Deadline Day (legend = BOLD means done deal) is reporting that the Los Angeles Kings have put Brad Stuart, Ladislav Nagy & Scott Thornton on the block and will hear offers for all of them with the potential that they could all be moved by day's end.

10:30 am, Deadline Day (legend = BOLD means done deal)
Marian Hossa could be making the convenient locker room switch as it looks like Montreal might be the front-runner for the services of the now Thrasher forward. Atlanta is in Montreal today for their game tonight.

Palm Beach Post and Sun-Sentinel suggest Florida Panther captain Olli Jokinen will not be traded unless a deal for the center is exceptional. Otherwise, he's pretty much off the market because owner Alan Cohen refuses to trade him.

10:17 am, Deadline Day
(UPDATE - TSN is reporting that a deal is not as close as was once reported for Richards - stay tuned)

10:00 am, Tuesday, 2/26 - DEADLINE DAY!
Deadline day is here and so are the rampant rumors and I am going to try and do my best to keep up with all the Wild and crazy going on. So no more preamble - let's get to it. (legend = BOLD means done deal) is reporting that Mike Comrie and the New York Islanders have agreed to extend his stay in New York for 1 year. So you can take him off the block if that turns out to be true. (update - 1 year 4 million extension) is also reporting that Martin Lapointe has been traded from Chicago (no destination) and a Brad Richards deal from Tampa Bay is imminent. Stay tuned for more on these items (UPDATE - TSN is reporting that a deal is not as close as was once reported for Richards - stay tuned)

On a side note - it seems an awful lot of players are now being re-signed at deadline than moved than in years past. Interesting to see if that continues to play out as the day moves on.


5:10 pm, Monday, 2/25
Well the floodgates should be just about ready to open with the Avs signing Peter "my feet hurt too much to return to the NHL" Forsberg for the remainder of the season.

Colorado already has some All-Star players coming back from injuries so adding Forsberg into the mix makes them that much better and should also send a swift warning to the rest of the Western Conference that the Avs are ready, serious and loaded for the stretch run.

I don't think it will fall on deaf ears so prepare yourself for the action to come. Hold on to your seats boys and girls, it is about to be a bumpy ride!

Posted on: January 15, 2008 4:39 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2008 4:39 pm

College Hockey: West vs ... West?

As an avid College Hockey fan - we do exist and are very passionate about our sport much like our professional NHL brethren - I have become a bit disturbed about the play of late of the eastern schools.

I am a large enough fan of the sport that I count Minnesota (for Herb Brooks reasons alone) and Michigan et al as my favorites as well as the BC/UNH's (for Joe Fl) of the world.

So, looking at the latest poll information, you can see that there are 8 teams in the top 20 from the East: New Hampshire (5), Northeastern (9), UMass (10), Boston College (11), Clarkson (12), Quinnipiac (14), UMass-Lowell (15) and Princeton (19). Not a bad showing.

Outside of the obvious 8 < 12 argument, I think the edge for the West is that more and more teams are becoming elite while the East manages to find ways to wear each other down. Miami (OH) has always been a good team, but lately (most notably this year) they have really become a force in the West. Denver - a run of back to back titles that came not from nowhere a few years ago, but certainly from somewhere around the back end of top 20 lists. They were a No. 1 seed in the West in 2002 but that was their first appearance in the tourney in 3 years when they lost in the first round to Michigan in 1999.

Normal Western stalwarts like Minnesota and Wisconsin (winners of 3 of the last 6 titles) are currently ranked towards the bottom of the top 20 but I would be hard-pressed to say that come tournament time that I would want to face them. Take Princeton tho - and their similar placement in the rankings and - with all due respect to Princeton - I dont think teams would be as timid. That being said, it would be a big mistake to underestimate the Tigers.

Perception here is the real enemy for the East as they dont have that same swagger that the West can boast. Sure perennial runners-up BC is out there hovering just outside the top 10 along with "this is their year" New Hampshire at number 5. While the teams in the East continue to beat each other up over the season and recruiting, the teams out West seem to be building program after program.

While I am all for parity in the College Hockey ranks - I miss the East vs. West days. While there are TONS of great rivalries in college hockey - most within region, when it comes to post season play - nothing plays stronger than our brand of hockey in this part of the country is better than yours! If you have seen Miracle or follow the sport closely enough, you will know exactly what I am talking about. There is GREAT hatred over the different regions of the country in college hockey. Lately, the West has been able to make that "we are better" claim 10 of the last 12 years. Now that doesnt mean that there havent been good even great teams from the East - quite the contrary. That is why I am here - I clamor for those days again but lately it just seems like every great East team is just a few shades under tops in the West.

So I plead to you schools from the East - rise up and be great once again - stand up for your coast and style of hockey (and yes - I realize the the West does not actually have a "coast"). I dont care who wins in the end - I just want to see some great hockey and that regional antagonistic play like O'C vs. McClanahan would provide from back in the day.
Posted on: January 15, 2008 7:41 am

Welcome sports fans!

Here we are with kick off 2008 blogosphere on  And for those of you wondering, YES, I used plethora because of and only because of The Three Amigos movie.  I believe most people of my generation only know that word because of that movie.  I stand behind that statement and I am willing to call my trainer up and record the call while simultaneously not proving a thing on said phone call.

Ok - I know I know  - a shot (no pun intended) at The Rocket, but one thing you will come to learn by following this blog is that I actually don't care about the steroids issue. Sure I think it is out there - correction - I KNOW it is out there, but it is SO much out there that I would wager that there are less that arent doing it.  But that is a topic for another day. 

Today's topic - welcoming all to the world of plethora.  You will not only get to read my opinions on things (lucky you) but also stay tuned here because I will have upcoming features and content updates that you may be interested in.

Signing off for now but sure to be back later (when I can actually form coherent sentences - tho even then it is questionable).  Oh and by the way - are you an All Star level in the community or above?  Yeah, that's right - you get a Blog too!  So Blog away users - Blog away!
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or