Jiří Fischer

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Jiří Fischer
Born (1980-07-31) July 31, 1980 (age 33)
Horovice, Czechoslovakia
Height 6 ft 5 in (196 cm)
Weight 225 lb (102 kg; 16 st 1 lb)
Position Defense
Shot Left
NHL team Detroit Red Wings
National team  Czech Republic
NHL Draft 25th overall, 1998
Detroit Red Wings
Playing career 1999–2005

Jiří Fischer (born July 31, 1980) is a former professional ice hockey defenceman in the National Hockey League (NHL) who played his entire career with the Detroit Red Wings. He currently serves as Detroit's Director of Player Development. Fischer was selected in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft in the first round, 25th overall, by the Red Wings, and was a part of the team that won the 2002 Stanley Cup.

Fischer's playing career ended after he went into cardiac arrest in a November 2005 game, and narrowly escaped death due to the immediate action of doctors and other arena personnel. He subsequently retired due to his heart problems.

He also served as the assistant coach for the Czech Republic during the 2012 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.

Endorsement work[edit]

In 2003, Fischer appeared with fellow NHL defenseman Chris Pronger in a television commercial for Dodge Ram trucks. The commercial featured a black Ram truck running along a track, which then smashes into a wall. Fischer and Pronger, along with two other unnamed players, exit the truck in full hockey gear. Pronger then intones "I've been hit harder," and Fischer answers "Me too." The commercial was played during the 2003 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. Neither defenseman were playing at the time as both were recovering from torn anterior cruciate ligament injuries when the commercial was filmed.

Near-death experience[edit]

During a game on November 21, 2005, against the Nashville Predators, Fischer collapsed on the bench after going into cardiac arrest. After being unconscious for six minutes, Fischer was resuscitated by CPR and by an automated external defibrillator by Lynn LeAnnais,[1] and was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital.[1] The hockey game was postponed due to Fischer's injury, and was made up on January 23, 2006. This marked the first time in NHL history a game had been postponed due to injury. The makeup game was played for the full 60 minutes, though the Predators were allowed to maintain their 1-0 lead from the original game. Nashville ultimately won by a score of 3-2.

Fischer was released from the hospital on November 23, 2005. Although the exact cause of Fischer's collapse remained unknown, team physician Tony Colucci indicated that Fischer's heart may have experienced either ventricular tachycardia, a type of racing heartbeat, or ventricular fibrillation, a heart fluttering.[2] Doctors ordered Fischer to avoid all physical activity for four to six weeks, and no prognosis was made on whether he would be able to continue his hockey career. Fischer continued to suffer heart trouble after the in-game incident. On November 28, Fischer suffered a "brief, abnormal cardiac rhythm", while at his home in Detroit. He was released from the hospital two days later.

Fischer's future as a hockey player remained in question over a year after his collapse. By the time his contract expired at the end of the 2006-07 season, it was obvious he would never be medically cleared to play again, and he was forced to retire. General manager Ken Holland wanted to keep Fischer in the organization, and offered him a job as director of player development. Fischer had long liked working with young players and accepted.[3]

Return to the Ice[edit]

Fischer returned to the ice for the Detroit Red Wings in the first of two Alumni Showdown games at Comerica Park as part of the 2013 Hockeytown Winter Festival on December 31, 2013, scoring the first goal of the game.

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1997–98 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 70 3 19 22 112 11 1 4 5 16
1998–99 Hull Olympiques QMJHL 65 22 56 78 141 23 6 17 23 44
1999–00 Detroit Red Wings NHL 52 0 8 8 45
1999–00 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL 7 0 2 2 10
2000–01 Detroit Red Wings NHL 55 1 8 9 59 5 0 0 0 9
2000–01 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL 18 2 6 8 22
2001–02 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 2 8 10 67 22 3 3 6 30
2002–03 Detroit Red Wings NHL 15 1 5 6 16
2003–04 Detroit Red Wings NHL 81 4 15 19 75 11 1 0 1 16
2004–05 HC Bílí Tygři Liberec Czech 27 6 12 18 52 11 1 4 5 22
2005–06 Detroit Red Wings NHL 22 3 5 8 33
NHL totals 305 11 49 60 295 38 4 3 7 55

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jesse Wallin
Detroit Red Wings first round draft pick
1998
Succeeded by
Niklas Kronwall