Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving told reporters Friday that defenseman T.J. Brodie is “doing well” and resting at home after he collapsed on the ice during Thursday’s practice.
Treliving and team doctor Ian Auld said throughout the press conference all tests performed on the 28-year-old have ruled out anything severe that could have caused the incident, but the team has set no timetable for Brodie’s return as of yet.
“All the early indications are it’s very likely more related to a fainting episode than something significant and inside the brain,” Auld said.
Team captain Mark Giordano told reporters that Brodie had mentioned feeling “a little bit off, lightheaded maybe” moments before he collapsed and was seen convulsing on the ice. According to Auld, the team’s on-ice medical staff reached Brodie within seconds and an ambulance was called “in about 45 seconds” to take Brodie to a local hospital. Those convulsions, Auld said, certainly can be common with mere fainting episodes — and not necessarily signs of anything more serious.
“Basically, the purpose of fainting is to eliminate gravity and allow your heart to get blood to your brain,” Auld said. “If there is a period of time where that doesn’t happen, the brain can go on hyperdrive, and with that can come some of the motor movements that we saw.”
Treliving and Auld confirmed that Brodie was not responding to questions when medical staff first reached him, but soon became conscious and was able to communicate as he was transported to the hospital. The Calgary GM said that Brodie is sore and does not remember the entire episode, but is otherwise doing well.
“Hopefully he progresses well and he’s back sooner rather than later but that’s not the focus right now,” Treliving said. “The focus is making sure we go through every test. All in all, he’s in a good frame of mind.”
The Athletic reported that Brodie’s teammate and neighbor Sean Monahan tried to contact Brodie’s wife Amber while he was on the way to the hospital — Monahan’s girlfriend ultimately went right to the Brodie’s door to alert his family.
Auld told reporters that lack of sleep, overtraining, certain medications, stimulants and dehydration are some — but not all — reasons why a person may experience a fainting episode. He clarified the team is still in the process of identifying the specifics of Brodie’s situation but said “most of the things we need to do we can get within a week.”
He added, “That’s the timeline at this point.”
Treliving said that he and Auld spent the entire day at the hospital and the entire team visited Brodie at some point. While he and several Flames players reiterated how scary the incident was, seeing Brodie awake and in otherwise good spirits appeared to lighten the mood during an unusual and emotional situation for the team.
“We joked with him — it doesn’t take the guys very long, they’re saying ‘if you need the day off, you could have done it a lot easier, but thanks for giving us the day off, ‘” Treliving said.
In No. 7’s absence, the Flames recalled defenseman Oliver Kylington from AHL Stockton for this weekend’s road games against the Arizona Coyotes and Vegas Golden Knights. They also placed Juuso Valimaki, who tore his ACL over the summer during training, on long-term injured reserve for cap relief.
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