KHL to investigate death

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:48 PM ET

Amid criticism in North America and Russia for its purported lack of proper emergency medical services at its games, the Kontinental Hockey League has launched an investigation into the death of Alexei Cherepanov.

In a statement today from Moscow, the league said a special commission, led by KHL Managing Director Vladimor Shalaev, will "conduct an exhaustive investigation into all aspects of the situation. The commission will cooperate with all relevant parties, including state and local authorities."

Cherepanov, a 19-year-old New York Rangers draft pick, collapsed on the bench and died of a heart-related ailment on Monday while playing for Avangard Omsk. While it's now been determined that he had chronic ischemia, which hinders blood from getting to the heart, the condition went undetected by team doctors and emergency workers are being accused by Russian lawmakers of taking too long to respond getting to the rink.

"We are very saddened by the tragic passing of Alexei, an extraordinary young man and an outstanding, exciting player who personified the future of Russian hockey," said Alexander Medvedev, President of the KHL.

"The KHL extends its sympathies to everyone who is touched by this loss and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his teammates and the fans of Avangard Omsk at this very difficult time.

"The KHL is committed to the safety of our players and will ensure that all member teams provide the highest level of medical care for our players. We will have more information to share in the coming weeks."


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