With the news that Avangard Omsk demoted Alexi Cherepanov to their farm team comes the wondering about how fast the Ranger fan message boards will start labeling Cherepanov as a bust.
A supposed demotion to Avangard2 has to provide fuel for people to start speculating about the potential of Cherepanov.
Before people start with the labeling, let us first try to find out exactly what is going on with Cherepanov. Our reasoning behind that is because over the last week, Cherepanov has gone from suffering from a groin injury to now this demotion.
Last Wednesday the Russian Sports site sports.ru (sorry in Russian) reported that Cherepanov had aggravated a groin injury during the Omsk's season opener. The site reported that Cherepanov reportedly first suffered this injury while working out with the Russian Under 20 team.
In fact the way the story was written that it (the injury) was caused by Cherepanov being overworked by said Under-20 team. That no complaint was made about the level of work from any player makes us wonder how accurate that accusation is.
Then Cherepanov missed the next Omsk's next game and the reports then said he would be back on Sunday. Only problem is that come Sunday, Cherepanov was not in the game and reportedly had been demoted to the farm team of the Omsk.
As of today, there is only one thing that can be sure of is that Alexi Cherepanov is not on the Avangard Omsk roster. After that every possible rumor is going to raise their ugly head until someone can actually see where exactly Cherepanov has gone.
We can see all the wild rumors starting up given the timing of Cherepanov's reported removal from the Omsk roster. How about we give toss in the name of who was in attendance at that same Omsk season opener?
Interesting that Rangers Assistant Coach Mike Pelino was in attendance at the same game where Cherepanov reportedly was re-injured. Even better for the folks who live and die by the rumors is that Pelino went out of his way to say in response to a question about the relationship between the KHL and NHL (thanks to Laurie of Beyond the Blueshirts for this translation)
"I believe that we should respect each other’s contracts. I don’t know about other clubs in the NHL, but the Rangers will not break that rule. Cherepanov has a contract here with Avangard — we will not entice him to [come to] us. Let him play in Omsk and gain experience. And if Alex says that its better for him in Russia, we will not start harassing him."
Well Mike, now that reportedly Cherepanov is not on Omsk and IF Cherepanov says it is not better for him in Russia then what? Would the Rangers then try to help him escape his contract?
The other question we would ponder is given how angry the NHL is currently with both the IIHF and KHL over last weekend's lame non-decision regarding the Predator's Alexander Radulov; what would the NHL do if the Rangers were to attempt to sign Cherepanov now?
It is not as if the Rangers are very popular at NHL headquarters these days so what would the NHL do if Alexi Cherepanov showed up at the Ranger's training camp out of nowhere.
Enough daydreaming though as here is reality; it is very doubtful that the NHL would allow the Rangers to sign Cherepanov given the NHL's act that they are the saintly all-wonderful folks who never do anything wrong.
If Cherepanov showed up at the Ranger's training camp out of nowhere then a lot of people would look foolish. We can not see Avangard simply releasing Cherepanov while the KHL is fighting their war to keep their young players.
If anything the bottom line is that Cherepanov's continuing saga with his development is once again taking a hit. No matter how this works out, Cherepanov's reputation is once again going to suffer.
Here is what we believe is actually happening (all speculation); Cherepanov simply is not playing well, Omsk can claim he is hurt but nothing we have seen suggests that Cherepanov has his game together.
If the NHL can send a prospect who is underachieving to their farm team then why can't another league?
Congrats to a Good Guy
We got this from our friends with the QMJHL:
The Montreal Juniors announced today that former NHL defenseman Joël Bouchard is joining the club as an assistant coach.
Bouchard, who played 13 years in the National Hockey League, was drafted by the Calgary Flames in 1992. He also played for the Nashville Predators, Dallas Stars, Phoenix Coyotes, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders.
For the past few years, Bouchard has hosted and produced the Académie de hockey McDonald’s TV show on RDS. This TV show presents NHL players giving advices to young players to improve their technical skills.
When it comes to one of the good guys then Bouchard has always been one of them, that someone was smart enough to add Bouchard as a coach is a great move for hockey.
We see this as the beginning of a long career for Bouchard and you read it here first that one day Bouchard will be coaching in the NHL.
(pic credits: Cherepanov-Avangard Omsk, Bouchard-New York Islanders)
2 hours ago