The Siberian Express 1989-2008
Monday October 13th 2008, 5:15 pm
Photo: SportStand.ru

Photo: SportStand.ru

On Thursday Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov made his first post in a blog he was going to write for the Russian publication Komsomolskay Pravda. I found the blog this morning and translated the post during lunch today, hoping to find time to post it before leaving work for the Rangers game tonight. Little did I know that my afternoon would be spent hoping against hope that reports I was reading from Russia were false. But as time went by message board rumors were confirmed by stories in the Russian press, which were confirmed by his agent, and ultimately the Rangers organization itself. Alexei Cherepanov is dead at the age of 19.

I don’t feel like going to a hockey game anymore. Instead I’ll go home and try to make sense of how something so tragic can happen to a 19-year old kid who’s dreams were all starting to come true.

It’ll take awhile for the true story of what happened today to come out. Until then, I’ll leave the rumor and speculation about collisions with teammates and missing ambulances and malfunctioning defibrillators to internet message boards. What we know right now is that the life of a vibrant and talented young man was cut way too short. Until we know more, I leave you with the first and only post in his blog.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, teammates and fans from all across the world. Rest in peace, Alexei. It’s been a joy and a privilege to watch you play the game you loved.

The Siberian Express
Thursday, October 9, 2009 11:48

Greetings to all fans of Avangard. My name is Alexei Cherepanov. As of today I am starting my own online blog. In it I will answer your questions and communicate with you. To begin with I want to say thanks to everyone who supports us. The arena is always full, and it helps us greatly to play. I hope that together we will achieve a lot this season.

Currently we have three games on the road. It will be the first road trip under the leadership of [new head coach Wayne] Fleming. When he came to the team, he said “Now to us will be a new way. Give everything you’ve got, and together we’ll come out ahead.” With Fleming we spend less time practicing, but it is more intensive. We pay particular attention to our defensive game. And so our preparations for the away games went on as usual.

Recently we were told to come to games in business suits. This was done at the initiative of the “Council of Four”, as they have been named in the press. In it are included Sasha Svitov, Dima Ryabikin, Jagr and Anton Kuryanov. They talked with the coach and delivered this decision. I know that some of the guys had to buy suits. I had no such problem — in my closet hangs two complete suits. They’re from my time at the draft. So I only had to buy a coat.

This season there has been an important event — the arrival of Jagr. I generally consider him my fourth coach. He always gives me advice when something doesn’t work out. After practice I often remain with him and work on shooting. And he’s always ready to come to the aid of the other guys. Everyone sees that he’s very experienced in the game and wants to become a champion.

The atmosphere in our team is outstanding. The guys encourage one another. I, by the way, have made a playful wager with [Viktor] Aleksandrov. We have bet a block of chocolates, that I will become the best player at the upcoming junior championships. He doubts it. We’ll see which one of us is eating the chocolate after the championships. So everything with us is good. I hope that my goal scoring streak will last. I will make every effort to make it happen!

That’s all for now. We’ll see each other after the road trip! See you then!

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Filed under: Alexei Cherepanov, KHL

18 Comments so far
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    Отдых в мире

    Comment by Dimitroff 10.13.08 @ 5:45 pm

    My heart broke when I read this news and now after reading his blog, I just can’t hold back the tears. I just can’t believe it. I too don’t want to get caught up in all the message board stuff. It is just a sad story and my prayers go out to Alexei’s friends and family and to Jagr because no matter what caused or contributed to Alexei’s death, Jagr cared for this kid and along with the rest of his teammates, he must be devastated.

    Comment by Teresa 10.13.08 @ 6:13 pm

    this is really hard to read

    Comment by jersey goalie 10.13.08 @ 6:45 pm

    jeez i wanted to cry BEFORE reading this…

    Comment by Amos 10.13.08 @ 6:59 pm

    The moment of silence at the beginning of the Ranger came tonight made me cry. And so did his blog. My heart goes out to his family and friends as well as to his teammates and organization. This is such a freak tragic thing to happen. I read one report that said the whole team went to a church when they brought him to the hospital. They are all in my prayers. :(

    Comment by luckyluck 10.13.08 @ 7:44 pm

    My condolences to the family & Avangard. They’re having a hellish stroke of sthg. Two goalies down, now this. I hope they can regroup & carry on. The same for Jagr.

    Comment by Why...Oh why...Why,why 10.13.08 @ 10:56 pm

    Rest in Peace Alex. You will be really missed and you will always be remembered here in the USA.

    Comment by Madflava 10.13.08 @ 11:24 pm

    All I have been thinking about is seeing Alexei in a Ranger uniform next season to play with this great bunch of kids on the Rangers. I thought how great it would be. When I heard the news, all that was secondary and I sat there in silence with my prayers going out to his family, friends and teammates. We lost a future star on this earth but he’s surely among the stars when we look above. Rest In Peace Alexei

    Comment by JAS 10.13.08 @ 11:35 pm

    It looks like a massive state of confusion over there. They just stared, no oxygen, no defibillator, no ambulance,no mouth to mouth, no one tred to resusitate him. In that arena, total choas. Jagr better think twice about surving in these dismal conditions. He would have survived if treated properly. He tried to hold on, to live, and they failed him. He regained consciousness 5 times, how mich more can he have given? The Russians inability to provide a safety net for these players is typical of the attitude of people who don;t give a dame. Where was the ambulance, first aid? The Players are like animals in a zoo. Trapped in substandard situations because they loved the game, or is it because of their passion to play they think they are immortal. May they take heed.

    Comment by Dee Wynne 10.14.08 @ 4:13 am

    Before this story broke, I did not know of this player. Upon reading the story and digging into it a little more, he appears to have been a very talented and likeable young man. Alexei’s time has been tragically cut short and the NHL has been robbed of a potential superstar. While his family and friends go on a man short, Jesus and Alexei are forever on a power play in the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Comment by Durty 10.14.08 @ 10:04 am

    Oh, God, this is so hard to read….especially the last part……R.I.P. Alexej, it´s so sad to see people pass away so young…..:(

    Comment by mehehe 10.14.08 @ 10:26 am

    Thanks for posting this. He seemed to be a very intelligent, happy and promising kid and this gives us a great insight into that. This is extremely sad for all of us and while he wasn’t a current or past Ranger, he was a future one, part of the Ranger family and we feel like we lost one of our own.

    My heart goes out to his teammates and coaching staff as I’m sure their lives will never be the same to witness this right in front of them, in their hands as well as their family.

    The saddest part was that he was only 19 years old with a lifetime in front of him. Rest in Peace Alexei.

    Comment by Jason 10.14.08 @ 11:29 am

    Alexei rest in peace. My deepest sympathy to everyone who knew and loved you. May God walk beside them and give them the strength they need to live with such a horrible tragedy. You were so young and had such a great life ahead of you. Reading your blog is heartbreaking. See you in Heaven someday! Jaromir if you ever read this, I am very sorry for the loss of your friend/teamate. From what I read you became very close to him. Please be careful over there. I miss you very much. Stay Healthy and Safe!

    Comment by Maria 10.14.08 @ 7:27 pm

    [...] in this sad time. Here is an except from a blog that Cherry was just about to start, translated by Beyond the Blueshirts. The Siberian Express Thursday, October 9, 2009 [...]

    Pingback by R.I.P. Alexei Cherepanov 10.14.08 @ 8:49 pm

    Alexei, Rest In Peace. May you now play amongst the Hockey Gods in heaven. Even though you never got to play in MSG, we all will miss you and consider you a part of the Ranger family. Once a Ranger always a Ranger.

    Comment by NYR2330 10.14.08 @ 10:00 pm

    RIP Alexei. What little we saw of you over here in New York was the beginning of briliance. I really wish I could’ve seen you come to the Rangers and take this league by the horns. You had such a beutiful life ahead of you and it was taken just liek that. All hockey fans, not just Ranger fans, are honoring your life now. We are going to miss something truely speacial. Thank you for what you brought to the game at only the age of 19. May your sould rest in peace. All our prayers are with you, your family, your teammates and your friends!

    Comment by section309 10.15.08 @ 1:23 am

    I am a grown man but this made me cry.

    Comment by Troy 10.15.08 @ 4:23 pm

    Thank you so much for translating Alexei’s diary entry. It’s absolutely heartbreaking! The last line, in particular, is unbearable. I can barely read it…

    “I hope that together we will achieve a lot this season.” I hope so, too. It is terrible that we had to lose you for the point to be made, but rest assured that your death will not be in vain. Together, we WILL achieve a lot. We will not let this go unremedied!

    Comment by Malkin08 10.20.08 @ 3:31 pm



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