Finger-pointing continues in wake of Cherepanov tragedy

By Dennis Gibbons

As the reality of Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov’s death sinks in, officials look for answers as to how this could have happened.

In the days after the 19-year-old’s passing, Pavel Krashennikov of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation said no ambulance was available at the game, there were no defibrillators in the building and Cherepanov had to be carried off the bench without the aid of a stretcher.

“There are elements of negligence here,” Krashennikov said.

Added Kontinental League executive director Vladimir Shalayev: “It is incomprehensible that there was no first aid present,” and the host Vityaz Chekhov club “will face a financial sanction with a lot of zeroes.”

Meanwhile, Avangard Omsk GM Anatoly Bardin says the team would sue Moscow region Health Minister Vladimir Semyonov over comments he made Tuesday that Cherepanov had a serious heart condition and shouldn’t have been allowed to play, Interfax reported.

READ ALSO:  Winnipeg Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian to undergo surgery on right wrist

Bardin called Semyonov’s statement “complete nonsense,” adding that Cherepanov had undergone a physical on July 1, including a cardiogram, and that he had “never complained about his health.”  

The league announced the teen died of acute heart failure. More specifically, there were reports Cherepanov had an enlarged heart and also might have been suffering from chronic ischemia, a medical condition depriving the heart of blood.

The investigation committee of the Moscow Regional Prosecutor’s Office is looking into the incident.