Report: Coyotes’ MacLean improving

Coyotes forward Brett MacLean is reportedly improving at a hospital in Ontario after collapsing on the ice Tuesday night during a pickup game.

The 23-year-old MacLean, who received CPR at the rink in Owen Sound, Ont., and was hospitalized in intensive care after suffering what the Coyotes called a “cardiac emergency,” is conscious and alert, according to his agent, Anton Thun.

“He’s conscious and he’s speaking,” Thun told the Toronto Globe and Mail on Wednesday. “They anticipate taking him out of intensive care (Wednesday night) and running tests to determine why he collapsed.”

MacLean, a 2007 second-round draft pick, has two career NHL goals in 18 games, with 13 of those coming with the Coyotes in 2010-11. He was claimed by the Jets off waivers last season on Oct. 5, played five games with Winnipeg and was waived again on Oct. 28, at which time he was reclaimed by the Coyotes. He spent the remainder of the season with Phoenix’s AHL affiliate in Portland, where he scored 25 goals and had 23 assists.

Coyotes general manger Don Maloney issued a statement Tuesday that said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Brett and his family. We request that everyone please respect their

privacy at this time. We will provide an update on Brett’s status when

information is available.”

While the reasons for MacLean’s emergency remain unclear, the hockey world has seen similar issues in the recent past. Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer collapsed on the bench during a game in 2005 and was resuscitated but later retired due to a subsequently discovered heart problem, and Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov died at the age of 19 after suffering a heart attack on the bench during a game in Moscow in 2008.

The NHL requires that a defibrillator be available at every rink.