Cherepanov's coach describes difficult and emotional day

TSN.ca Staff
10/15/2008 12:45:31 PM
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Wayne Fleming described it as an incredibly difficult and emotional day.

The Avangard Omsk coach had to perform one of the most difficult tasks a person can, saying good-bye.

On Wednesday thousands gathered to pay their respects to Alexei Cherepanov following his tragic death on Monday.

"There were a lot of tears," Fleming told TSN.

Fleming described a stunning outpouring from the community as 6-year-olds to 90-year-olds all turned out to honor one of their hometown heroes. It started with the viewing at the arena where 10,000 or more passed through to pay their respects.

During the procession from the arena to the cemetery there were blocked roads and the streets were lined with thousands saying their final good-byes.

Omsk was supposed to play on Friday, but the game has been postponed until Monday.

It has been a very emotional few days for Fleming and, along with the sorrow, there are also questions about the future over the wellbeing of players.

Fleming told TSN he met with a Russian governor on Wednesday and was been assured there will be a thorough investigation into the how and why's of Cherepanov's death.

"There are deep concerns, no question," Fleming added. "We have to make sure Alexei's passing helps someone else."

Alexei Cherepanov (Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)


(Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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