Boston Bruins forward Chris Wagner missed the Bruins’ 3-2 double-overtime loss to the Tampa Lightning in Game 5 due to an irregular heartbeat that was discovered during his team’s 3-1 loss in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. In a Zoom call with the media Friday, Wagner revealed that his heart started racing during the second period and after trying unsuccessfully to play through it, he found himself out of the bubble and in a Toronto area hospital after the game.
“I kind of noticed it the second period of Game 4 that my heart rate was pounding,” Wagner recalled. “I’m usually pretty good about recovering on the bench, so I knew something was up. I played through the second period with the racing heartbeat and then got some tests done between the second and third period.”
Those emergency tests at Scotiabank Arena revealed that Chris Wagner was suffering from atrial fibrillation, and while his heart rate went down upon arriving at the hospital, he had further testing done to confirm the diagnosis.
“We ended up figuring out that, long story short, I had A-fib and went into an irregular heartbeat, which I had never had before,” the pesky Bruins forward said. “I had to go to the hospital and left the bubble, and once you leave the bubble you’re quarantined for four days. I was in quarantine for Game 5.”
Wagner is scheduled to have further testing done next week to make sure this condition won’t affect him as an NHLer going forward.
“At this moment, we don’t think there’s any long-term effects,” the Walpole MA native said. “We’re getting some more tests done next week, but it’s pretty common with athletes. It could be a one-time thing as well. It’s probably the best heart problem to have, I guess.”
Wagner finished the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs with two goals and an assist in 12 games. The checking winger had six goals and 10 points in 67 regular season games.
The Bruins signed Chris Wagner to a three-year extension worth $1.35 million per season on November 27, 2019, the same day they signed his current and childhood teammate Charlie Coyle to a six-year extension with an annual $5.25 million cap hit.