Wayne Fleming coached Omsk earlier this season.Omsk hired Fleming on Jaromir Jagr's recommendation after speaking with Tom Renney.Fleming is a long time NHL assistant coach.He called Glen Sather about the news concerning Cherepanov.
"We were playing Chris Simon's team. Yes, that Chris Simon. I think there were 1,000 penalty minutes. Anyway, they were a big, physical team. Before the game started, I was walking down behind the bench, stopped and said to Alexei, 'No fighting tonight, huh?' And he smiled at me. He had a wonderful little smile.
"That's the last thing I ever said to him.''
"Oh, yeah, he would've been a really, really, good NHLer. Anyone blessed with the sort of goal-scoring ability Alexei had could've done it in any league. But it was his enthusiasm that set him apart. There are lot of talented players, from Sweden and Finland and Russia and all over. What sets the great ones apart is that kind of enthusiasm.
"He wasn't the same type of player as Ovechkin, but he had the same sort of passion for the game.
"He was the Chosen One, the Golden Boy, of Omsk. He'd grown up there and was a source of pride for the entire city. But all of Russia grieved when he died.
Thanks for posting this RangerBoy. I keep getting a 504 Bad Gateway error, but I'm going to keep trying during the day to read this.
It's a shame that he was taken so young. I love hockey and I love the Rangers, but I would've rather he lived and was told that he could no longer play hockey than for him to have lost his life. R.I.P. Lyosha. Hopefully Avangard (Omsk) will go on to win it all for you this year!
It's still weird to think that this kid is in the ground, that his life is already over. So many people had such high hopes and expectations for him, it seems so odd that no one will see any of those things they had hoped or expected to see.
I've been writing a paper on human rights violations in Russia for the last couple of weeks, and I've used the Cherepanov story for a large chunk of my paper. Re-living all the articles is a lot harder than I thought it would be.
I remember that day.It was Columbus day.I read squishy's post about Cherepanov scoring a goal in that game.Later I was watching St.Louis-Toronto and Nikolai Kulemin scored a slick shootout goal(thinking it will be nice to see Cherepanov do that soon).I check TSN and there is a big picture of Cherepanov but it took a few seconds for the headline to appear.I thought the arbitrator had made a ruling about draft rights of European players and the transfer agreement(because there was that case between the NHL and NHLPA).When the headline came up that he was dead,I was