Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Rangers put a price on class...

As you may have seen, less than a month since the tragic passing of 19 year old Alexei Cherepanov, the New York Rangers are already angling for compensation...

Glen Sather raised the issue at the general managers' meeting in Chicago two weeks ago, citing CBA Article 8.3 (b) that stipulates that compensatory picks be awarded to teams unable to sign first-round draft picks.

Sather is submitting that the Rangers should receive the 17th selection in the second round of June's draft as compensation for losing Cherepanov, the 17th overall selection in the 2006 Draft who died in Russia on Oct. 13 while playing for Omsk.

"The question is with the one parenthetical phrase in Article 8.3 (b) that refers compensation for an unsigned first-round draft pick who is '… again eligible for the Entry Draft or becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent …'," Rangers assistant GM Cam Hope told The Post. "That language was inserted to clarify that a team would be owed a compensatory pick even if they were to re-draft that player or sign him as a free agent.

"It seems now as if that phrase is unintentionally precluding the deceased from being included as eligible for compensation. We understand that this is a sensitive issue, but with all due respect to Alexei's family and his memory, he is technically eligible to be drafted again next year.

"We are not attempting to capitalize on a tragedy, but there would be no question regarding the Rangers' right to a compensatory pick if Cherepanov had been revived and survived the incident and were on life support"

First of all, beyond the telltale "with all due respect" and hypothetical "if they revived him" scenarios let's take a look at who is eligible to be drafted, per the collective bargaining agreement, Section 8.4:

8.4 Eligibility for Claim. (a) All Players age 18 or older are eligible for claim in the Entry Draft
Ok fair enough, but they also define a "player"

“Player(s)” means a hockey player who is party to an SPC, a Rookie, Unsigned Draft Choices, and Free Agents.

While Cherepanov remains an unsigned draft choice, it's hard to define him as a "hockey player" at the time of the draft next June when he has, you know, died.

So even ignoring human decency it seems unlikely the Rangers legal request would be approved the way the CBA is written. But even if the obvious is brushed off and the Rags are awarded the 17th overall pick in the 2nd round of the draft, let's take a look back over the past dozen years to see who the Rangers might be in line to select along with their NHL stats, when applicable...

1995: Dwayne Hay (WAS)--LW, Guelph Storm [OHL]....79 games, 2g, 4a, 6p
1996: Jan Bulis (WAS)--C, Barrie Colts [OHL]...552 games, 96g, 149a, 245p
1997: Juha Gustafsson (PHO)--D, Kiekko-Espoo [FNL]
1998: Mike Fisher (OTT)--C, Sudbury Wolves [OHL]...475 games, 117g, 127a, 244p
1999: Martin Gernier (COL)--D, Quebec Remparts [QMJHL]....18 games, 1g, 0a, 1p
2000: Jared Aulin (COL)--C, Kamlops Blazers [WHL].....17 games, 2g, 2a, 4p
2001: Alexander Polushin (TB)--RW, Tver THC [Rus-1]
2002: Alexei Kaigorodov (Ott)--C, Magnitogorsk Metallurg [Russia]...6 games, 0g, 1a, 1p
2003: Matt Carle, (SJ--now PHI)--D, River City Lancers [USHL]...163 games, 17g, 48a, 65p
2004: Blake Comeau (NYI) Ohio State University....54 games, 8g, 7a, 15p
2005: Tom Fritsche (COL)--LW, Ohio State University
2006: Shawn Matthias (DET--now FLA)--C, Belleville Bulls [OHL]....5 games, 2g, 0a, 2p
2007: Dana Tyrell (TB)--C, Prince George Cougars [WHL]
2008: Maxime Suave (BOS)-- C, Val d'Or Foreurs [QMJHL]

Yep, those are the average selection of guys the Rangers set their price for class on....Disgusting. But then we say that "with all due respect" to their organization.


JH29 said...

The Cherepanov and Bourdon accidents are tragic, for their families and the NHL. The question is whether these accidents can be prevented in the future. Maybe better testing on the NHL's part for the Cherepanov situation and educating the players (youngsters) on dangerous activities such as motorcycle etc... Just seems like more should/can be done to prevent tragedies like these from occuring in the future.... and it is ridiculous how the Rangers are seeking another pick to replace Cherepanov. My thoughts.

Hooks Orpik said...

JH--Bourdon was under contract while Cherry was an unsigned prospect, that's the principal difference there, though it's clear the tragedy of having their lives end too short is shared.

I would agree with you on getting the young players some sort of training or education as guys who make the NHL at a young age all of a sudden have a lot of money and a lot of free time. Unfortunately without the death of Bourdon any kind of seminar for rookies probably wouldn't get too much of their attention, but now it probably would.

As far as Cherepanov's condition, he underwent all the health tests that NHL teams put you through. Unless he was putting things into his body that he shouldn't have been (and of yet all toxicology reports have been clean) then this just might be some very sad and unforseen rare tragedy that no one see coming.