Friday, October 24, 2008

Short Stuff

A rare Thursday night game allowed us to take a better look at Carl Hagelin of the 5th ranked Michigan Wolverines as they hosted the Niagara Purple Eagles in a non-conference matchup.

Hagelin in our eyes is one of three prospects we are expecting to have break out seasons, is in his sophomore season with Michigan and Hagelin is off to the kind of start we expected from him.

Hagelin is the left wing on Michigan's first line had an assist as the Wolverines spotted the Purple Eagles an 1-0 lead before Hagelin earned his only point of the night a secondary assist on a Wolverine power play to tie the score up at 1-1.

Points not withstanding, Hagelin did show why this is a prospect to keep an eye on as the Wolverine left wing was active at both ends of the ice whether it was recording 5 shots on net or helping to protect a late one goal lead in the third period.

Hagelin looks a lot more comfortable this season as you can see a visible difference in how he is playing the game. No longer looking like he is willing to defer to others, Hagelin is accepting the challenge of being a top line forward/team leader.

Hagelin finished the game with those 5 shots, the assist and a +2 which now on the season gives Hagelin a 1-6-7 +6 in 5 games. That makes Hagelin the 3rd leading scorer on the Wolverines who who despite their lofty spot in the polls are struggling on offense.

The Wolverines are heading to the Boston area for a tough matchup against 7th ranked Boston University on Saturday night. This will be a major test for Hagelin and his Wolverines.

Changes are Made

We are glad to see that the KHL has announced changes in the aftermath of Alexi Cherepanov's passing and unlike others who are saying that the league is late; our belief here is what they are wanting to do has some promise.

With that promise though we temper ourselves as these changes must be followed though and not be just idle talk as promised action must take place otherwise the KHL risks getting an even larger black eye in the future.

At the same time, we really have to repeat one very key point which is that even under the most ideal of conditions all of these changes are not going to guarantee that another player might still pass away like Cherepanov did.

On this key point people need to realize that medical science remains unable to detect everything. What happened to Cherepanov from our own experiences over the last season strongly suggest that even if everything worked that it might not have been enough to save him.

Even if these new changes were in place at the time of what happened to Cherepanov that all they would have guaranteed was a chance for Cherepanov, nothing more. Yes we would have liked to see Cherepanov make it, no question about it but the point that really has to be made is that the KHL is no more at fault for Cherepanov's passing than the NHL was for not catching his heart issues at the 2007 combine.

We still believe that when the final results come back that Cherepanov's death will be ruled as due to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or HCM. The cause for HCM is not fully known as what it means is a heart muscle thickening without any obvious cause.

What we really want to see now is for the KHL, the NHL, the IIHF and the rest of the hockey world come together to develop that electronic medical passport for athletes so that information about player health can be shared with everyone.

Instead of individual federations trying to deal with these kinds of situations on their own; someone take the lead and come up with a standard for medical testing. Have everyone share their knowledge, to share their experiences and anything else so maybe someone maybe find a way to detect HCM before we get to see another tape of a hockey player collapsing on the ice.

In our eyes that would be the very best way to honor Alexi Cherepanov.

(Hagelin picture courtesy of the Michigan Wolverines)

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