Kontinental Hockey League takes measures in wake of Cherepanov death

MOSCOW – The Russia-based Continental Hockey League will impose new regulations to safeguard players’ health after the death of Alexei Cherepanov, the 19-year-old who collapsed with heart problems during a game last week.

The league’s board of directors Tuesday called for two fully equipped ambulances to be posted at each game and for teams to ensure that doctors, including cardiologists and ophthalmologists, be at league games to treat players and spectators.

Cherepanov, a first-round draft pick of the New York Rangers, collapsed while on the bench during a game Oct. 16 between his club Avangard Omsk and Vityaz Chekhov. The death is under investigation.

Lawmaker Pavel Krasheninnikov, who sits on the Russian Hockey Federation’s supervisory council, has accused emergency workers of taking too long to respond to the call. He also complained there was no ambulance on standby for the game and no defibrillator.

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In a statement, the league board said it ordered in-depth medical examinations of all the league’s younger players and pledged to introduce “electronic medical passports,” which would contain key information for all players.

The league also disqualified the director of the Vityaz club and the director of the Vityaz arena. The KHL consists of mostly Russian teams, along with one each from Kazakhstan, Latvia and Belarus.