Tha Sports Junkies 101

AHL Player Cunningham Collapses Prior to Game

Stephanie Vail via


While the Arizona Coyotes were getting their 3-2 overtime defeat of the San Jose Sharks Saturday night, the Coyotes AHL affiliate was facing a nightmare situation just before their game started.

Tuscon Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham collapsed prior to the Roadrunners’ game against the Manitoba Moose Nov. 19 in Tuscon, Ariz. Prior to the opening faceoff, Cunningham collapsed and began to convulse, according to the Arizona Daily Star. Also according to the Arizona Daily Star, Cunningham’s jersey was cut open and the medical professionals began chest compressions before Cunningham was eventually taken off of the ice on a stretcher. He was taken to a local hospital and is listed in critical condition.

The Roadrunners had released a statement following the incident, and it read, “Cunningham was taken to a local hospital where he is receiving medical treatment. Our thoughts and prayers are with Craig and his family. We will provide a medical update once we receive more information.”

After Cunningham left the ice via a stretcher, both teams returned to their respective locker rooms. The game was postponed, and a make-up date of the game has not been announced.

On Monday the Coyotes announced that Cunningham is in critical, but stable condition.

This is a situation that seems all too familiar to fans of the NHL. On November 21, 2005, then-Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer went into cardiac arrest on the bench during a game against the Nashville Predators. He was able to avoid death thanks to quick response by all involved, and had to retire due to his heart condition.

Cunningham was picked up by the Coyotes off of waivers in March 2015 from the Boston Bruins. He has played very sparingly in the NHL, seeing action in only 66 NHL games and registering 8 points (3 goals, 8 assists). He has been a career AHLer who got off to a hot start this season with the Roadrunnes, picking up four goals and nine assists in 11 games.