Coyotes’ AHL captain Cunningham collapses on ice, taken to hospital

Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham collapsed ahead of Saturday’s AHL contest. He left the ice on a stretcher and was taken to hospital. The game has been postponed.

Saturday’s AHL contest between the Tucson Roadrunners and Manitoba Moose has been postponed after Roadrunners winger Craig Cunningham collapsed on the ice ahead of the start of the contest.

In the moments leading up to puck drop, Cunningham, 26, was skating near center when he fell to the ice. Medical staff immediately attended to Cunningham, and, according to Global Winnipeg’s Mitch Rosset, there is speculation that Cunningham suffered a seizure before falling to the ice.’s Ezra Amacher reported that medical staff was also performing chest compressions while Cunningham was on the ice. Medical staff cut away Cunningham’s equipment while attending to him and he was removed from the ice on a stretcher. Rosset reported that paramedics continued performing CPR on the Roadrunners captain as he was rushed to an ambulance.

He has been taken to local hospital.

Both teams cleared the ice and players returned to the dressing room, and after a long delay, it was announced that the game would be postponed.

Cunningham, a native of Trail, B.C., was a fourth-round pick of the Boston Bruins, 97th overall, in 2010, and came to the pros by way of the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, where he spent five seasons, earning the captaincy in his final season.

During his career in Boston, he suited up for 34 games with the Bruins before landing with the Coyotes by way of waivers during the 2014-15 campaign. He found his way into 19 games with the Coyotes in the back half of that season and got into 10 games with the big club in 2015-16.

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The bulk of Cunningham’s career has spent much of his career in the AHL, however, and he’s been tabbed as a leader everywhere he’s been. He wore an ‘A’ with the Providence Bruins in 2013-14, earned the captaincy in 2014-15 and has been the captain of the Coyotes’ affiliate — in Springfield last season and in Tucson this year — in both seasons with the team. 

Cunningham has played 319 games in the AHL, notching 101 goals and 203 points. He has three goals and eight points in 63 NHL contests.

UPDATE: “Arizona Coyotes center Craig Cunningham suffered a medical emergency on the ice prior to the start of tonight’s game between the Tucson Roadrunners and the Manitoba Moose at the Tucson Convention Center,” Coyotes GM John Chayka said in a statement. “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.”

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