DETROIT – Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer had a seizure on the Detroit bench late in the first period of Monday night's game against the Nashville Predators and was listed in stable condition at a hospital.
Fischer was given CPR at the bench by team physician Dr. Tony Colucci before the 25-year-old native of the Czech Republic was removed on a stretcher. The game was called off with no makeup date immediately announced.
"His heart was stopped," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "They hooked up the auto defibrillator and shocked him."
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Team spokesman John Hahn said Fischer was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital and was stable, breathing on his own and responsive.
"It's our understanding, the reports from the hospital, that he is fine and he will be fine," Babcock said.
Play was stopped with 7:30 left in the period after the Red Wings alerted officials to a problem. Medical personnel worked on the 25-year-old Fischer at the door to the bench for several minutes before he was wheeled back toward the Red Wings dressing room.
"First of all, everybody is definitely caught by surprise," Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman said. "We turn and see Jiri laying between the boards and the bench and we're not sure why.
"You fear for the guy's life at that moment. I can't remember anything like that."
The decision was made to resurface the ice then, and the remaining time was to be added to the second period. But the game was postponed instead.
"It was obvious to everybody involved that it was the right decision," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "It was very disturbing to both sides and I think the NHL recognized it, the players recognized it. To be quite honest, the game became very secondary. When a friend or a teammate was in danger like Jiri was in, then the decision was made for everybody to reschedule it."
It was not immediately clear whether the game would be played in its entirety or resume from the point of the stoppage.
"Our primary objective is that Jiri is taken care of," Trotz said.
Red Wings forward Brendan Shanahan helped escort Fischer's fiancee, Avery, across the ice to the bench area.
"Obviously, she was very worried and concerned. She just wanted to be next to Jiri," Shanahan said.
Fischer was diagnosed with a heart abnormality in September 2002, causing him to miss two days of practice. The problem was found on an electrocardiogram as part of a routine battery of tests during the Red Wings' preseason physicals. When the result was abnormal, Fischer was given a stress test that 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."
He said that his heart essentially is a little thicker than normal.
"I wasn't scared about the abnormality," Fischer said. "But I was scared about not playing hockey again. That was a shock for me."