Dallas Star forward Rich Peverley fell unconscious after collapsing on the bench at last night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Rich Peverley the Survivor
When the 31-year-old fell unconscious his team mates frantically jumped off the bench and onto the ice while the game was going on to get attention.
Peverley was hurriedly carried into a tunnel where medics carried out chest compressions and defibrillated him as well as using electric shock electricity to bring a rhythm back to his heart.
Peverley was stabilized, transported to a hospital and in good condition Monday night.
The Stars stood in stunned silence, clearly in distress, unsure what had happened to a player just six months removed from undergoing a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat.
‘When he dropped, it was red alert,’ Ruff said after the game between Dallas and Columbus was postponed with the Blue Jackets leading 1-0 in the first period.
‘Don’t worry about the game. It was about getting the doctors. The players don’t want to play, and I don’t want to coach the team right now.’
Stars forward Erik Cole tried to rush into the tunnel just after Peverley was carried through, only to be turned away.
He then gnawed at the thumb on one of his gloves while he waited for word on what the players would do next.
Sergei Gonchar stared blankly near fellow defenseman Trevor Daley, who was hunched over on the bench, wiping his face with a towel.
‘I was scared,’ Ruff said.
Play was halted at 6:23, and the postponement was announced about 30 minutes later.
Many in the hushed crowd lingered long after the postponement was announced ‘as a result of the emotional state of the players on both teams caused by the medical emergency.’
The NHL didn’t say when the game would be rescheduled.
Peverley’s wife, Nathalie, accompanied him to a hospital, and the Stars essentially told the Blue Jackets they were not keen on finishing the game.
‘They’re shaken and they want to reschedule. We understand that,’ John Davidson, the Blue Jackets president of hockey operations, told Fox Sports Ohio.
‘They were shaken to the core.’
Peverley missed the preseason and the season opener because of a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat, a condition diagnosed during a training camp physical.
He made his Stars debut on Oct. 5 against Washington.
‘We monitor him closely for a different type of arrhythmia he has,’ said Dr. Gil Salazar of UT Southwestern Hospital.
‘He does have a pre-existing condition, and the condition – a normal quivering of the heart that does not allow him to send blood to places where he needs to, in his brain and heart.’
Peverley sat out last week’s game at Columbus because of an irregular heartbeat. He had felt strange after last Monday’s game and couldn’t fly. He played in Dallas’ next two games before Monday.
‘There wasn’t any concern,’ Ruff said. ‘Our doctors have done a fabulous job monitoring the situation.’
In 62 games this season before Monday, Peverley had seven goals and 23 assists.
He was acquired last July from Boston with forward Tyler Seguin and defenseman Ryan Button for forwards Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser, and defenseman Joe Morrow.
‘The first thing (Peverley) asked me was how much time was left in the first period,’ Ruff said.
The Stars went to the airport after the postponement, and even had a scheduled departure for St. Louis that was earlier than it would have been if the game was played. Dallas is scheduled to play the Blues on Tuesday night.
‘He’s going to be OK,’ Ruff said. ‘The care he’s getting and the care going forward is the most important thing.’