The first meeting of the Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings of the season was abruptly cancelled after Wings defenseman, Jiri Fischer, collapsed on the bench during the first period.
is now reporting that Fischer suffered a seizure. He was given CPR at the bench and a defibrillator was used before he was removed on a stretcher to be taken to the Detroit Receiving Hospital. Captain Steve Yzerman and forward Brendan Shanahan helped his fiancee, Avery, across the ice to the bench area.
Team spokesman, John Hahn, said that he is in stable condition, responsive, talking, and breathing on his own. They do not know what caused the seizure at this point. Yzerman and Shanahan addressed the media once they received word that Fischer's condition was stable. "We're not really sure what is going on," Yzerman said.
Fischer apparently has some friends on the Nashville Predators teams and both squads were too concerned over their friend and fellow hockey player to continue the game. "I don't think any of the players felt it right to continue playing the game, even though we received word that Fischer was stable...I think it was Brett Lebda who alerted the rest of the team that something was wrong...Jiri was his usual self before the game," Shanahan said.
In September 2002, he was diagnosed with a heart abnormality (his heart is apparently a little thicker than normal) after it was found on an electrocardiogram, which was part of Wings' preseason physicals. He was then given a stress test, which he passed. "There is a little abnormality, but nothing that will stop me from playing," Fischer said at the time. "It's nothing that will bother me emotionally. I wasn't scared about the abnormality. But I was scared about not playing hockey again. That was a shock for me."
Paul at Kuklas Korner
also has comments on the incident and what transpired. Stephen Bolen at Back in Blue
also blogged live as the events unfolded.
No decision about rescheduling the game has been made at this time. The Wings will be playing this Wednesday when they face the Colorado Avalanche.
Normally, I'd have a game summary and be praising or criticizing the Wings based on their performance in the night's game. Well, not tonight. While I may have a few comments on the first period at another time, there are far more important things to talk about after what happened at the Joe this evening.
The Predators scored to take a 1-0 lead at 11:28 with Jiri Fischer, Johan Franzen, Mathieu Schneider, Brendan Shanahan, and Robert Lang on the ice. Those five went to the bench after the goal, all seemingly fine. Less than a minute later, however, Fischer collapsed on the bench. It took a few seconds for anyone to really notice, since at first he was just bent over sitting down. Soon, though, Mike Babcock began yelling frantically and waving for medical help.
It didn't take long for Jiri to be swarmed by medical personnel and one of the images we were shown was of someone administering CPR. We learned later that they also used a defibrillator at this point.
Jiri's heart was stopped, folks.
Because all of this was taking place behind the boards and on the floor of the tunnel leading to the Wings' lockerroom, we could not see it was Jiri. One camera angle showed it from a high angle and we were given a glimpse of a bit of red jersey on which the #2 was visble. I knew then that it was Jiri but Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond would not say it until they had confirmation.
Before they heard about the seizure, Mickey and Ken speculated that a stick to the throat may have been the cause of Jiri's problem. They noted that a Wings player had taken a Predator into the boards in front of the bench, with their stick at neck level. This obviously proved not to be the case but it was a scary possibility, to be sure.
Jiri's fiance, Avery, was brought out on the ice and helped to the bench by Shanahan and Lang.She was then taken with the gurney around through the other side and I can only assume they came at Jiri from that direction. The ambulance had been at the zamboni entrance but was taken around to the other side as well and Jiri was then taken to the Detroit Receiving Hospital. FSN had someone tell them he was breathing on his own at that point but that he was still unconscious. We were told after a while that he was stable and responsive
They resurfaced the ice in the event that the game would continue. I suppose the plan was to tack the remaining 7:30 on to the start of the second but they did not get a chance to try it. After a conference between the teams and with the League, the game was called. Apparently, the Nashville players were already taking off their equipment and getting ready to go at that point.
Jiri's parents were planning on coming to the States in December. I'm sure they'll move that trip up in light of this.
Our prayers are most definitely with you, Jiri.
Brian of 360 VRWC has another breakdown and some screen caps of the events here
: The Detroit Red Wings held a conference today (11/22/05) at Joe Louis Arena at 1pm to shed more light on how Jiri Fischer is doing. I typed these "quotes" as they talked on TV so I can't guarantee that they are all word for word what was said, but as close as I could remember. Here are some things they had to say:
GM Ken Holland: Obviously, it's been a tough 12 hours for our organization. When I was in his room, he was in good spirits and a couple of jolts were cracked. Very thankful that we have tremendous medical people in our organization...We're going to go see Jiri this afternoon.
Dr. Tony Colucci: He's cracking some jokes. All his tests are coming back within normal limits. When I assessed the situation, Fischer was having a convulsion in my professional opinion. Trying to maintain an airway and establish a pulse. We initiated chest compressions. We shocked him [with the use of an AED].
Upon his arrival [at Detroit Receiving Hospital], he was very stable. He was very thankful for everybody. There's no way to figure what triggered it. Believe it was cardiac in origin.
He couldn't really recall too much last night. Today, he recalls his first shift, being in the ambulance, and being in the ER. He didn't remember being on the bench.
An AED monitor should be in every public place. Any laid person is able to use the machine. It should be in any arena, period. The ABCs [airway, breathing, circulation] are most crucial.
Fischer's agent, who lives in Florida, is flying in today and should be in Detroit this afternoon. The Wings have offered to fly his parents from the Czech Republic to Detroit. The Wings may call someone up from Grand Rapids, but will look at all the options to make the team as strong as possible.
One of my five college classes I'm taking right now is a required CPR/First Aid class. We had just recently covered how to use an AED, CPR, etc. An AED is extremely easy to use. You have two patches to place on the chest and they are clearly labeled with where they are supposed to go. The AED talks to you and will direct you through it whether it's telling you to stay clear, shock, etc. As the doctor mentioned, ABCs are what you first look for when something goes wrong. You check the airway first, breathing second, and circulation third. AEDs cost around $3000 according to the doctor.
: I didn't want to say it last night but I definitely thought it: Jiri's career may be over. Of course it depends on the cause of the seizure and what the doctors say but it may be too dangerous for the Wings and the NHL to allow him to continue.
I guess other people are thinking the same thing