At a press conference from Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday, Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland was able to make a positive announcement:
“Jiri Fischer is doing very, very well.”
After twelve hours of speculation and uncertainty, Holland and team doctor Tony Colucci spoke to the media to provide what information they could.
“Obviously it’s been a tough 12 hours for our organization,” Holland explained.
Holland thanked the Nashville Predators for “their understanding,” in agreeing to cancel Monday night’s game after Fischer’s collapse. Holland had met with Detroit coach Mike Babcock and captain Steve Yzerman before asking the team if they wanted to continue playing.
The players were in no shape to continue but after visiting Fischer in “little groups,” they’re feeling better today.
“I think that’s going to get guys ready for tomorrow night,” Holland said. “I think we’ve gotta play the games and see how it goes.”
To fill Fischer’s roster spot, Holland speculated, “possibly we will do something, maybe call somebody up from Grand Rapids.”
Colucci spoke about the medical side of Fischer’s situation.
“Everything appears to be well right now, all his tests are coming back within normal limits.”
He explained that when he arrived on the scene – summoned quickly by trainer Piet Van Zant – Fischer was having a convulsion. Colucci worked to maintain an airway when he discovered that he couldn’t feel a pulse. He began chest compressions while Van Zant set up an automated external defibrillator and shocked Fischer. Colucci continued chest compressions.
Fischer was moved when he had a good pulse and was breathing on his own. He was stable upon arrival at Detroit Receiving Hospital and had an unventful evening.
“There’s no way to speculate what triggered it,” Colucci announced. “He’s going through further testing over the next few days.”
He described it as a “rare situation” and would not speculate on when – or whether – Fischer’s career will continue.
Fischer does not remember the incident, only his first shift of the game. The next things he remembers are being in the ambulance and being brought into the hospital.