Pavelec doesn’t remember game, couldn’t feel legs

When Ondrej Pavelec awoke in an ambulance he could not feel his legs and had no memory of playing more than two minutes of the Thrashers’ season-opening game Friday.

The Thrashers goaltender lost consciousness and collapsed to the ice 2:25 into game. He lay motionless as he was attended to by doctors and removed on a stretcher.

“I would like to tell you [what happened],” Pavelec told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an exclusive interview Saturday. “The last thing I remember was the lights going on after the [national] anthem. I don’t remember anything until I woke up in the ambulance and saw the doctor looking at me.”

Pavelec regained consciousness in the ambulance en route to a local hospital. The feeling in his legs returned in the emergency room. He was in stable condition and held for observation Friday after preliminary tests were negative. Pavelec remained in the hospital Saturday night after undergoing a battery of tests during the day. He said his only current symptoms are headaches from a concussion caused when his head hit the ice in the fall.

The 23-year-old said he underwent whole body MRI exams. He will undergo more tests on Sunday but hopes to be released later in the day.

“My heart looks good. My brain looks good. Everything is normal but we still have to find out what it is,” Pavelec said. “You will have to ask the doctors what it is.”

Pavelec does not have a history of health problems. He said he felt “really good” prior to the game.

Once Pavelec was feeling better he phoned his parents back home in the Czech Republic to let them know he was feeling better. The scary incident drew national and world wide attention. It was the lead story on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

From the hospital Friday, Pavelec asked how the Thrashers were faring in their game against Washington – a contest they won 4-2.

“It was scary for them too,” Pavelec said of his teammates.

The Thrashers were informed that Pavelec was stable during the first intermission and played inspired hockey in the upset of the Capitals.

Pavelec has received an outpouring of concern and well wishes from fans around the NHL, including many on blogs. Pavelec said he has also received many phone messages and texts from the Czech Republic and from current and former teammates.

“I really appreciate it,” Pavelec said. “I’m really happy and thankful to everybody. Please tell them.”

Pavelec said he did not know when he would be able to return to the team or if he would make the Thrashers’ West Coast road trip that begins in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The team re-called Drew MacIntyre from AHL Chicago to take Pavelec’s place and back up goaltender Chris Mason.

“He’s awake and alert but they have to do more tests,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said Saturday morning. “We have very little knowledge other than he is awake, alert and seems to be doing much, much better.”

One of the text messages Pavelec received came from former Thrasher Pavel Kubina. The defenseman, and fellow countryman, now plays for Tampa Bay, the Thrashers opponent Saturday night. Pavelec was in good enough spirits to respond.

“I told him to take it easy tonight,” Pavelec said.

26 comments Add your comment


October 9th, 2010
7:54 pm

That’s awesome he is doing better. Get well soon Ondrej!


October 9th, 2010
8:15 pm

Glad to hear you are doing better Pavs!!! Get well soon!!!

Puck Like A Porn Star

October 9th, 2010
8:27 pm

Pavs: Get Well Soon!!

Duds: Get Manny Legace!!


October 9th, 2010
8:27 pm

thank you so much for the update!!! It was the scariest and strangest moment I have ever experienced in a sporting


October 9th, 2010
8:47 pm

good news to have him talking. bad news to be down by 4 to tampa…


October 9th, 2010
10:25 pm

So glad to hear that Pavs is feeling better. Hope they can find out what happened and treat it as needed to insure it doesn’t happen to him again. Maybe it will be just a one time thing. It was sure a scary time for everyone.

Hopes and prayers that the concussion will heal quickly and well also.

Thanks to all the fans and players of other teams who took the time and effort to send well wish messages for Pavs. They are appreciated!

R. Stroz

October 9th, 2010
10:29 pm

Kubina is truely a class act.


October 9th, 2010
11:09 pm

Glad to hear Pavelec is on the mend. There’s no need to rush him back. It’s more important that he make a full recovery.


October 9th, 2010
11:24 pm

Thumbs Up!!! Get to bottom of this Pavelec, you’re health is more important than any game!


October 9th, 2010
11:53 pm

So happy to hear he’s alert and doing well. And hopefully the reports of it being severe hydration are correct, certainly seems plausible. At the game when he lay motionless, all I could think about was Hank Gathers of Loyola Marymount back in the early 90s. Scared me to death at first! Hopefully the tests will confirm that Ondrej has a strong heart and no signs of abnormalities.

Get well Ondrej but take your time getting back, we want you in tip-top shape! No game is worth risking further harm so come back when you’re good and ready (as per the docs).



October 10th, 2010
9:05 am

Sending prayers and best wishes to Pavs!

[...] Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: (exclusive interview with Ondrej Pavelec) After Atlanta Thrashers goalie Pavelec awoke in the ambulance after collapsing 2:25 minutes into Friday game with no feeling in his legs and not remembering playing more than 2 minutes. “I would like to tell you [what happened],” Pavelec told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an exclusive interview Saturday. “The last thing I remember was the lights going on after the [national] anthem. I don’t remember anything until I woke up in the ambulance and saw the doctor looking at me.” He underwent full body MRI exams yesterday and will have more test today, with the hope of being released later in the day. I could do more highlights of the article but I recommend reading the article. The Thrashers have recalled Drew MacIntyre to backup Chris Mason while Ondrej Pavelec is out. [...]


October 10th, 2010
9:16 am

Cape Breton Fans are thinking of you Ondrej, be well son.


October 10th, 2010
9:43 am

This is no longer a hockey issue. Pavs nees answers to why this happened.

Be well young man.


October 10th, 2010
10:05 am

Best wishes for you Pavs.

Ted Striker

October 10th, 2010
10:36 am

Glad he is doing better. No need to rush him back. His long term health takes precedence.


October 10th, 2010
11:01 am

Good news, but I hope they can figure out the root cause and get it resolved. Best wishes.

The Sham

October 10th, 2010
11:16 am

I’m very much a casual Thrashers fan, but scary to hear about this and hope he’s better…

Any word on what actually caused the collapse?

Reggie Dunlap

October 10th, 2010
5:23 pm

Old time hockey.


October 10th, 2010
7:58 pm

Pavs- big time prayers to you from this fan!! I am so thankful your MRI and hopefully CT scans have come out clearly and there was no swelling or bleeding. I had a serious fall 3 years ago…I fell in heels. You fell in skates : ) You were better protected than me! You are a star, as everyone is stating- put your self first, we only want you out there “full strength” As someone who understands I am praying for you very often. Trust me, I know the headaches. Be patient. You have amazing doctors. Cheers- can’t wait to hear the news that you are going home!

Caps fan

October 10th, 2010
8:34 pm

Glad he’s awake and alert and talking. Still curious as to what caused it because nobody touched him! So weird. Get well soon and go Caps!


October 10th, 2010
11:12 pm

Glad he’s doing OK…no expert here, but with the loss of feeling in the legs, wondering if his nervous system short-circuited somehow, a kind of seizure…your team doesn’t need to rush into getting another goalie, they’re playing decently and hopefully he returns in a while..


October 11th, 2010
3:38 am

so glad you’re doing better! get well soon — we like you in good health whether you are playing or not!

Zombie Steve

October 11th, 2010
9:43 am

Very strange that a 23 year old kid just falls out like that… glad to hear he’s ok. I hope it’s nothing serious…

[...] 12:10 p.m. More on Ondrej Pavelec, who collapsed on the ice in a scary moment Friday in the Thrashers home opener. The team released a report Monday that stated that Pavelec had a neurocardio syncope episode (a type of fainting spell). He will undergo further testing on his heart, in addition to blood and genetic tests. Photos from Friday. Pavelec interview. [...]

[...] suffered a fainting spell during the Thrashers Friday night game against the Washington Capitals. As a result of fainting, [...]