Updated: Pavelec collapses, in stable condition

Thrashers starting goaltender Ondrej Pavelec was taken off the ice on a stretcher after losing consciousness and collapsing during the Thrashers season opener Friday night.

According to team officials, Pavelec, 23, was taken to an undisclosed local hospital for further evaluation. Pavelec later regained consciousness and was in stable condition. Preliminary tests were negative and Pavelec was said to be asking about the score of the game from the hospital. He was held overnight for observation. There was no word of the cause of the collapse.

“It was awful,” said Thrashers goaltender Chris Mason, who came in relief of Pavelec in the 4-2 victory. “You imagine his family across the sea, they are probably following the game and something like that happens. It must be a helpless feeling. It was tough. To be honest, I had trouble focusing when I first got in there. I couldn’t stop thinking about him.”

Thrashers players learned that Pavelec was in stable condition during the first intermission. Defensman Dustin Byfuglien urged teammates to win the game for Pavelec.

“It’s something where you step up and play hard,” Byfuglien said. “He wouldn’t have quit working if it happened to someone else. We can’t do the same. We felt bad for him. As a team we had to come together and get the victory for him.”

Pavelec collapsed while the action was at the other end of the ice, just 2:25 into the game. Medical personnel immediately rushed to Pavelec’s aid after he was spread out on the ice.

Television replay showed Pavelec crouched in the goal crease at the far end of the ice with the Thrashers in the Washington Capitals’ zone. When Pavelec came back into view, he was down on the ice.

“We got through the first period and that was the hardest part,” Mason said. “It was hard trying to focus and play a game and have that killer instinct and game mentality when you can’t stop thinking about your teammate.”

“It takes courage and some leadership,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “We called them over and just talked about the fact that … would he like us to just fold up our tent and go home? And the obvious answer is no. I thought the players responded extremely well and I thought our goalie went in and was just wonderful.”

There was no visible movement from Pavelec as the stretcher was being removed from the ice. He was going in and out of consciousness while being loaded for transport.

The Capitals took a 1-0 lead 53 seconds after the game resumed. However, the Thrashers answered with three straight goals, two by Evander Kane. Andrew Ladd also scored his first goal was a Thrashers. Fredrik Modin iced the game for the Thrashers with a third-period goal after the Capitals had pulled to within 3-2.

“Everyone was on the same page to win one for him,” Kane said. “… A lot of people were concerned that we didn’t win a game in the preseason but I think we had the confidence in the room to know we were a better team that than and we were able to show it tonight.”

121 comments Add your comment


October 9th, 2010
6:45 am

I still can’t shake the image of him lying motionless on the ice. One of the most horrible things I’ve ever seen. Everyone I was with stopped talking and sat for what seemed like the longest time just staring at the tv waiting for any kind of movement from him. I know at that moment all true hockey fans forgot about any rivalries and focused their thoughts and prayers on that young man and his family. Hoping that whatever caused this to happen is nothing too serious and he has a full and quick recovery.


October 9th, 2010
7:39 am

I was just watching CNN online and saw the news of the Thrasher’s goalie collapsing on the ice.. Although I am a fan of 11 time Stanley Cup winners Detroit Red Wings, I wish nothing but a speedy recovery for Ondrej. Thrasher fans, get ready for your Thrashers to lose Nov. 24. Tissues will be at the door for you upon your exiting the building.

Joe Friday

October 9th, 2010
8:21 am

Oh for goodness sake, kracker. There’s been guys annihilated by blindside hits that made me fear they were dead as they got carted odd the ice, I’ve seen faces demolished by pucks both on ice and flying off into the stands, a little girl was even killed by a puck leading to the nets we now have. To call a guy untouched who fainted the scariest thing ever strikes me as a bit of hyperbole and an overreaction. People faint every day, flu, dehydrated, nerves? Who knows but the kid fainted, let’s not measure him for the casket quite yet…


October 9th, 2010
8:47 am

If you want to know the scoop you always talk to mama….and Jake Voracek of the Columbus Blue Jackets’s mother did….


Voracek’s mother, who’s in Stockholm, was able to speak with Pavelec’s mother. The family’s are from Kladno, Czech Republic. Voracek was told that his friend’s collapse was “90 percent dehydration and 10 percent nerves.” Voracek also spoke briefly to Pavelec’s agent Allan Walsh.

“It was a stressful couple of hours,” Voracek said. “But it sounds like he’s going to be OK.”


October 9th, 2010
8:56 am

This is why hockey might have the best fans. Nothing but well wishes from 12 different fans bases that I can count. Was glad to see Thrashers come out and win that one last night, How about Kane?? Caps fans, I tip my cap to you people.


October 9th, 2010
9:01 am

Glad to hear that he is doing OK and wishing him a full and speedy recovery. I am a Caps fan and was watching it on CSN. Seeing him lying motionless was scary as the cause was so unknown. If it was due to dehydration per RS’ post, that is good news as he will be able to make a full recovery.


October 9th, 2010
9:04 am

After reading the comments here, I’m delighted to see how hockey fans band together even if an opposing team member is hurt – would that we would alll be so civil in politics!


October 9th, 2010
9:33 am

RS, thanks for the link.


October 9th, 2010
9:44 am

Oh it’s just so scary. After things like Alexei Cherepanov, it’s undiscribable how the emotions in the stadium changed.

Red Wings Fan

October 9th, 2010
10:12 am

Hope your player makes a speedy and complete recovery. Our thoughts are with him, his family, your team and its fans.

Red Wings Fan

October 9th, 2010
10:16 am

To Joe Friday – A few years ago here in Detroit a player suddenly collapsed on the bench. If there wasnt a defribrilator there he probably would have died. Sudden collapse is very serious and should scare anyone with a lick of sense.


October 9th, 2010
10:48 am

same old crap. notice how many away games are not being televised, especially in the early going.


October 9th, 2010
11:45 am

I was hoping that Kane could have gotten the empty netter for the Hat Trick. 2 goals in the first game. At this rate, he is heading for 164-goal season!


October 9th, 2010
12:00 pm


While I don’t think it’s good to jump to conclusions, the fact of the matter is that nobody knew what was going on when he went down. It was scary to think that Pavs might have actually been dead. He wasn’t moving, he wasn’t responsive in any way and nobody other than those on the ice had any idea what kind of shape he was in.

I think it’s safe to say this organization has already had its share of tragedy and I’m sure that’s also part of what scared people too. Anyhoo, chalk it up to symantics, or whatever. I am what some might call an insensitive a-hole at times and I’ll be the first to say “suck it up nancy boy” when it’s deserved, but in this case it really could have been much more serious and I was scared for OP and I was scared for the team.

Now, once this clears up and we find out that he indeed did merely faint, we can all cal him a weiner and move on.

Anybody hear how Pavs is doing this morning? Hope to see him on the ice again and soon.


October 9th, 2010
12:11 pm

I just read on twitter that he has a concussion. I wonder if he was hit before he fell, or if it was from when he hit the ice? I only remember one shot coming near him in the period, but I didn’t think it connected.


October 9th, 2010
12:16 pm

Chris-has it been determined if the concussion is the result if his fall and head hitting the ice or did he have a concussion previously that caused him to fall? Scary stuff.


October 9th, 2010
12:49 pm

Kick rocks joe friday… he (like me) is a caps fan looking for information and trying to support your players.


October 9th, 2010
1:47 pm

Alan R., it just might be MacIntryre who gets the call-up. I don’t think he’d be subject to a waiver claim, since this is an “injury” situation. I’m still looking for some fresh news on Pavelec. The print edition of the Saturday AJC just said, “There was no word on the cause of the collapse.”


October 9th, 2010
2:20 pm

No news on the NHL Newtork ticker on Pavelec’s condition, either. I’m just curious is he’s making the trip to Tampa, after all. Considering, he spent last night in an “undisclosed” hospital, my feeling is that he has no separate travel plans for the Bay Area.


October 9th, 2010
2:39 pm

ESPN reporting a concussion and that he’s still in the hospital. Drew got the call up.

Ramsay Fan

October 9th, 2010
3:14 pm

One in the Book! Just One at a Time Coach – Keep focused team!