Trail native Craig Cunningham remains in critical condition after collapsing at the beginning of an American Hockey League (AHL) game in Tucson between the Tucson Roadrunners and Manitoba Moose.
“Craig remains in stable but critical condition at a local hospital,” said Doug Soetaert, Roadrunners general manager. “He is receiving excellent medical care but out of respect to Craig and his family we are refraining from further comment or discussing any details at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with Craig and his family.”
According to the Arizona Daily Star, Cunningham collapsed following the singing of the national anthems and moments before the puck drop. He appeared to convulse after hitting the ice. Medical staff from both teams rushed to aid him, as did local firefighters who were on the ice as part of a bagpipe and drum corps. Medics performed CPR before moving Cunningham off the ice on a stretcher and into an ambulance.
The game was postponed as a result. On Monday, the Roadrunners announced they would also cancel their games tonight and Wednesday out of respect for Cunningham.
“Craig remains in hospital in critical condition. As more information becomes available we will be sure to share it,” Roadrunners spokesperson Tom Callahan told the Trail Times in an email reply,
Monday afternoon at the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes’ practice, head coach Dave Tippett reiterated that Cunningham is in critical but stable condition and the team would not comment on his condition any further out of respect for the family.
The former Beaver Valley Nitehawks forward plays center for Tucson, the new AHL affiliate of the Coyotes. Cunningham was named captain of Tucson last month and leads the team in scoring with 13 points in 11 games. The former Vancouver Giant was also captain of the Springfield Falcons, the Coyotes affiliate last season before a move to Tucson last spring.
The 26-year-old scored the first two goals in franchise history last month, and had a goal in Friday night’s win over the Moose.
The Boston Bruins selected Cunningham with their fourth-round pick in the 2010 draft. He made his NHL debut for the Bruins in December 2013, and was claimed on waivers by Arizona in March 2015. Cunningham has appeared in 63 NHL games with Boston and Arizona scoring three goals and five assists.