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Dreger: Heavy hearted Omsk get back on the ice

TSN.ca Talent Blog
10/16/2008 11:34:05 AM
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I received another call from Omsk head coach Wayne Fleming this morning.

His team had just finished its first practice since the tragic death of one its stars, 19-year old Alexei Cherepanov.

Fleming describes his players as "emotionally drained," but says former NHLers Jaromir Jagr and John Grahame tried to lighten the mood by trash talking one another in typical North American fashion.

Prior to practice, Jagr called a players only meeting in the Omsk dressing room and while Fleming wasn't certain of the details, he noted it was the first time this team has been together as a group and understood the meeting to be powerful.

Omsk was scheduled to play its next game on Friday, however this game has been postponed until Monday where a special ceremony will be held to honor Cherepanov.

His number 7 will be retired and his sweater will be hoisted into the rafters as a reminder of the impact this young man had on the ice and in the community.

In addition KHL officials have also proposed the Continental Hockey League name it's rookie of the year award, the Alexei Cherepanov award.

"Another tough day, but it will get better," Wayne Fleming concluded.

Darren Dreger

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