On Monday night, there were many NHL games that proceeded as normal. One, however, did not.
Dallas center Rich Peverley collapsed on the Stars bench in the first period during their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Peverley was then carried to the locker room with an undisclosed medical issue. Before the issue, Peverley had been skating alongside Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin on the Bruins’ top line before the game was stopped at 13:37.
The game has officially been postponed by the NHL, who will make a decision about the remainder of the game on a later date.
Peverley, 31, collapsed on the Stars bench and his Dallas teammates were banging their sticks on the boards in front of the players bench to try and get the attention of the officials so they would stop play.
The NHL released the following statement: “Dallas player Rich Peverley is doing well and is in stable condition. He has been transported to the hospital. As a result of the emotional state of the players on both teams caused by the medical emergency, the game is being postponed. We apologize for any inconvenience and we thank the fans.”
Peverley, who joined the Stars last July after being traded by the Boston Bruins, had missed all of training camp and the Stars’ Oct. 3 season opener against the Florida Panthers after having a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat.
Peverley did not travel with the team to Columbus for their last game on Mar. 4, one the Stars lost 4-3, for he was listed out of the game with an upper-body injury. However, Dallas head coach Lindy Ruff confirmed after the morning skate last Thursday that Peverley’s absence was tied to his heart condition from earlier in the season.
After the Stars and Blue Jackets game was delayed for approximately 15 minutes, each team headed to their locker rooms. Columbus was leading 1-0 when the game was postponed.
For some NHL fans, this incident may remind them of Alexei Cherepanov who was looked at as a future NHL star. Cherepanov was drafted 17th overall by the New York Rangers in 2007.
Cherepanov was still playing for the Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), alongside Jaromir Jagr, when he collapsed on the bench near the end of the game. He was pronounced dead later that day in the hospital at the age of 19. His cause of death was attributed heart failure.
While most NHL fans saw the Cherepanov video after they already knew the outcome, they had to watch the Peverley video live, which caused a very scary feeling inside of every NHL fan, and even sports fan.
Peverley is in stable condition now and doctors have said that he did have a heart related incident.
“We successfully treated him for a cardiac event with standard therapy. We provide oxygen for him. We started an IV. We did chest compressions on him and defibrillated him, provided some electricity to bring a rhythm back to his heart, and that was successful with one attempt, which is very reassuring,” said Dr. Gil Salazar of UT Southwestern Emergency Medicine. “As soon as we treated him he regained consciousness. He was alert and talking to us after the event and quickly got transported to the hospital. I was actually able to talk to him in the back of the ambulance; he was able to tell me where he was and he wanted to get back into the game.”
One day after the scare took place it was announced that Peverley will have surgery for an irregular heartbeat and he will miss the remainder of the season for the Stars.
Peverley released his own statement to the media:
“Thank you all for coming today. On behalf of my wife, Nathalie, all of my family and myself, I’d like to thank you and to thank all the people that saved my life. First, I’m going to start off with Dr. Robert Dimeff, Dr. Bill Robertson, Dr. Gil Salazar and Dave Zeis, our trainer with the Dallas Stars. They all attended to me once I passed out and they saved my life and I will forever be grateful. Also, I’d like to thank UT Southwestern Medical Center for their continued care. Dr. Reimold and Dr. Aguilar have been by my side since I got here and they have been everything for me. But I’d also like to thank the Dallas Stars organization as a whole. They have been supporting not only myself but my family. The owner Tom Gaglardi, Jim Nill, Lindy Ruff have all been in constant contact with me this entire time. I’d also like to say thank you to my wife and family for their love and support. Finally, I’d like to thank everyone from past and present teammates to management, coaches, my agent, fans and media from the entire NHL family for all their support for which I’m very much grateful. Thank you.