Flames’ Giordano on Brodie: ‘It was really tough to see him like that’

Eric Francis explains what happen to T.J. Brodie during a scary incident during a Calgary Flames practice and gives an update on his condition.

Moments before witnessing what he called the scariest moment of his career, Mark Giordano said he recalls T.J. Brodie informing him he didn’t feel quite right.

What followed saw Brodie collapse early in Thursday’s lunch-hour practice, going into a series of seizure-like convulsions that sent him to hospital and had the hockey world on edge for hours, until word of his discharge was released in the dinner hour.

“He asked for Gatorade right before and he said to me he was a little bit light-headed there for a bit,” Giordano told Sportsnet.ca in the first public comments from a teammate since the scary incident.

“But (light-headedness) happens once a week to a guy.

“You’re skating. Just before, we were at the [dry-erase] board. That’s when he asked for Gatorade and [an energy] bar. He thought that’s when he was getting light-headed.”

Giordano was one of a number of teammates who joined the 29-year-old Flames defenceman at the hospital when practice was cancelled following the dramatic episode.

“He doesn’t remember much,” said Giordano, while attending a Flames charity function Thursday night.

“He remembers to a certain point, but he doesn’t remember the actual episode. Talking to him now he really doesn’t know what happened to him.”

What happened in front of stunned media-types and team brass came 15 minutes into a routine practice that saw him collapse while standing alone at the blue line, before experiencing significant medical distress that had several teammates, medical staff, coaches and brass rush to his side.

Practice was called off shortly after Brodie — alert and sitting up — was wheeled off by ambulance attendants, as shocked teammates and staffers left the ice with endless questions about what they’d just seen and what the repercussions may be.

Many questions still loom, which GM Brad Treliving will try to answer if possible at a 9:45 am media availability Friday.

“It was probably the scariest moment for me in my career, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy down in that state,” said Giordano, Brodie’s longtime defence partner and friend.

“He was a bit confused (after regaining consciousness) and for us, we didn’t know what to think. You’re thinking a million thoughts a minute, and more and more you’re thinking about his family and his kid. A lot of emotions obviously.

“For myself, I’ve watched his whole career and played with him a long time. We’re really close friends off the ice so it was really tough to see him like that.”

It wasn’t until they reconvened in the hospital that Brodie’s teammates started feeling a sense of relief.

“It was really nice to go to the hospital and visit and see that he was back to normal and acting fine,” said Giordano of the soft-spoken husband and father, who has no history of such episodes.

“He has a bunch of tests to go through to see, but hopefully it’s just one of those things that was a one-time thing.

“We were joking around, chatting. He was just the same old Brodes. A bunch of us were chirping about, ‘You got us out of practice early.’”

The Flames practice at 10:30 am Friday before departing for a Saturday game in Arizona. Brodie will not be joining the team, as he’ll remain in Calgary under medical supervision.

“There’s a lot of emotion in a day like today, but after, when you really think about it, thank god it didn’t happen to him when he was in his car driving,” said the Flames captain.

“He was surrounded by all of us and had a lot of immediate help.”

Had a lot of love too, which was clear as Giordano spoke of his pal.

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