'All Heart' To Chronicle Cunningham's Incredible Recovery
By: Alex Kinkopf
October 23, 2017 3:37 PM
WEDNESDAY ON TSN and 🌏 ON TSN.ca: At 26, Craig Cunningham nearly died on the ice from cardiac arrest. That moment wouldn't define him. pic.twitter.com/smHpsgNdZo— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) October 20, 2017
A TSN Original – ‘All Heart’, chronicling Craig Cunningham’s recovery from his sudden bout of cardiac arrest suffered at Tucson Arena on November 19, 2016, will debut on Wednesday evening.
The piece, filmed last March and April in Tucson, Arizona, and over the summer with Cunningham and Ray Ferraro, TSN’s lead game hockey analyst, will touch on Cunningham’s experience throughout the incident, and his miraculous road to rehabilitation thereafter.
Josh Shiaman, the Producer and Director of ‘All Heart’, touched on his outlook for the documentary, which focused heavily on Cunningham’s relationship with Ferraro, who will be featured prominently in conversation with Craig.
“Ray has a very, very unique relationship with Craig, in that after Craig’s father passed away when he was only five years old, Ray and his family kind of acted as surrogate parents for him,” Shiaman said. “They helped to finance his hockey career, they really took care of him, and Craig ended up living with Ray and his family at 11 years old in Vancouver.”
“Craig is and was always really good friends with Ray’s son, Landon, who is in the Minnesota Wild system as well," Shiaman added.
Wednesday’s piece isn’t solely meant to capture Cunningham’s extraordinary recovery, albeit the focal point, but to show how the people of Tucson embraced he and the team during the dramatic stretch.
“We really wanted to show our audience how much the Tucson hockey community loves and reveres Craig,” Shiaman said in regards to the tone his production team wanted to capture. “We saw that quite evidently through our time there, the whole time we were down there. It really came across how much the team respected him, how much the organization loved him, and how much the fan base loved him, and that’s the main thing we were trying to chronicle.”
There will undoubtedly be emotionally saturated segments to tell such a story as Cunningham’s. For Shiaman, it was Craig’s steadfastness that really struck a chord.
“I think it really comes down to Craig’s perseverance and his willingness to never give up,” he said. “Hockey has been something that’s been with him his whole life. Craig works extremely hard, that’s why we titled this ‘All Heart’. It has that double meaning – obviously for what happened that night, and also for how Craig carries himself every day, he is all heart, he is all work ethic, and that was something that was quite evident as we were filming this.”
One more time Cunningham’s story will be told. It will, though, continue to form new chapters as he continues to reach for higher levels in his beautiful stride toward new ambitions.
“That’s the number one thing I’ll take away from this,” Shiaman echoed in retrospect, “is just his incredible work ethic and his incredible desire to reach his goals.”