Looking for the feel-good hockey moment of the day?
How about the sight of former Bruins forward Craig Cunningham skating in figure 8’s around the ice with the San Diego Gulls on Wednesday with a prosthetic leg and skate? Cunningham lost his left leg while being administered life-saving treatment for a massive heart attack on-ice prior to an AHL game more two years ago, and was forced to retire from pro hockey in the aftermath while joining the Arizona Coyotes organization as a scout.
But Cunningham showed some serious edge work while skating in tight circles during Wednesday’s twirl on the ice, and looked like he was ready to at least play hockey again while working with the modified skate he had built to fit his prosthetic leg. He also showed the spirit getting back on the ice that he always showed as a scrappy, energy forward for the B’s organization, and in founding the Craig Cunningham All-Heart Foundation after surviving the 2016 incident.
His former Bruins teammates were certainly inspired by the video as well as it got an enthusiastic shout out on Twitter from B’s D-man Torey Krug.
The 28-year-old Cunningham was drafted by the Bruins and played 34 games for the Black and Gold from 2013-15 before joining the Coyotes organization where he suffered the fateful heart incident while captaining the Arizona Roadrunners on Nov. 19, 2016. Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Zain Khalpey said after a life-saving procedure in 2016 that Cunningham's heart is “fully repaired” from the massive heart attack, and the former Bruins forward credited first responders with saving his life after the unexpected on-ice medical emergency.
There’s little doubt that the last two-plus years has brought on all sorts of unexpected challenges for Cunningham as he’s adjusted to life after his pro hockey career. But being able to take a few twirls on the ice had to feel good for him, and for those in the hockey world that have always known the British Columbia kid as one of the good guys around the game.
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