The Detroit Red Wings received tragic news following last night’s game.
Their long-time team masseur Sergei Tchekmarev passed away suddenly at the age of 65 Friday; the news was made official by an emotional head coach Jeff Blashill“He was an unreal man. He made it fun to be around the rink,” Blashill said. “I’ve known him for 10-plus years, he was here for 20-plus years. He was one of the best people I’ve ever been around, one of the kindest, cared, had an unreal outlook on life. My heart goes out to his family and certainly to … so many people around here that loved him, including myself.”
Former Red Wings players who knew Tchekmarev well began offering heartfelt tributes to their fallen friend, including Kris Draper and Mathieu Dandenault.
Kris Draper shares his thoughts on Sergei Tchekmarev. pic.twitter.com/7hWtqZXRhM
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) February 20, 2021
Sad news … Cheeka is the one that stitched my shin pads from different pieces to be some of the biggest yet very light and manoeuvrable in the NHL.. always wanted to learn a new French word … good or bad lol… many laughs with this man… rip https://t.co/JUZtDj1uFL
— mathieu dandenault (@mdandenault25) February 20, 2021
Tchekmarev, nicknamed “Cheeka”, first came to the Red Wings in the 1998-99 season after having previously worked with the San Jose Sharks. He’s survived by his wife and daughter.