Lebda recalls 'scary moment'

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:13 PM ET

TORONTO - Watching the replay of Atlanta Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec crumpling on to the ice Friday rekindled nightmares for Maple Leafs defenceman Brett Lebda.

Back on Nov. 21, 2005, Lebda, then a rookie with the Detroit Red Wings, was sitting on the bench at Joe Louis Arena when teammate Jiri Fischer suddenly blacked out.

“I was actually next to (Fischer),” Lebda recalled Monday. “He actually collapsed right on me. It was something I’ll never forget. It was a scary moment at the time.

“Lucky for him and his family, things worked out. I’m glad he is still able to be part of the hockey world.”

Rushed to hospital

Fischer was subsequently revived and rushed to hospital, where it was discovered that he had heart issues. Fischer is now the Wings director of player development.

As for Pavelec, he has been released from hospital after doctors determined he suffered a neurocardiogenic syncope episode (a type of fainting spell), which caused him to fall and hit his head on the ice, leading to the subsequent concussion and loss of consciousness.

“I saw (Pavelec faint) and it brought back those memories thinking about it,” Lebda said. “I can’t imagine going through something like that with him and his family.

“I wish him all the best.”

Lebda, who injured his left shoulder last month during an exhibition game against the Philadelphia Flyers in London, Ont., practised with the Leafs on Monday and hopes to be back in the lineup Friday in New York versus the Rangers.


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