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September 30, 2014

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Rich Peverley undergoing tests after collapse during hockey game

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AP Photo/Sharon Ellman

Dallas Stars right wing Alex Chiasson (12) bows his head on the bench as defenseman Jordie Benn (24) takes a knee on the ice after play was stopped in the first period of an NHL Hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Monday, March 10, 2014, in Dallas. Stars center Rich Peverly was taken to a hospital after a medical emergency.

DALLAS — Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley is undergoing tests to determine what triggered his collapse during a game.

General manager Jim Nill said Tuesday that Peverley is in stable condition and has been communicating with teammates and friends since he was hospitalized Monday night. The Stars' game against Columbus was postponed in the first period after Peverley went down on the bench, stunning the crowd and players.

The 31-year-old Peverley was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat in training camp and underwent a procedure that sidelined him through the first regular season game. He played in 60 straight games before sitting out at Columbus last week because of effects of the condition.

Peverley played in two more games before Monday night.

"The focus of all the testing and monitoring is being dedicated to finding the cause of the event and a long-term solution to rectify the problem," Nill said in the statement.

After the game stopped, the Stars players stood in silence, clearly in distress, wary of what happened to one of their own. Some players from both teams dropped to one knee on the ice.

"I was scared," coach Lindy Ruff said.

Forward Erik Cole tried to rush into the tunnel just after Peverley was carried through, only to be turned away. He gnawed at the thumb of a glove while he waited for word on what would come next. Sergei Gonchar stared blankly near fellow defenseman Trevor Daley, who was hunched over on the bench, wiping his face with a towel.

Dr. Gil Salazar of UT Southwestern Hospitals said doctors succeeded in shocking Peverley's heart back into rhythm at American Airlines Center.

"As soon as we treated him, he regained consciousness," Salazar said. "He was able to tell me where he was."

Play was halted at 6:23, and the postponement was announced about 30 minutes later.

"The first thing (Peverley) asked me was how much time was left in the first period," Ruff said.

Many in the hushed crowd lingered long after the postponement. The announcement cited 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 the hospital, and the Stars told the Blue Jackets they weren't up for 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 after the procedure during training camp. He made his Stars debut Oct. 5 against Washington.

"We monitor him closely for a different type of arrhythmia he has," Salazar said. "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 and couldn't fly because he felt strange, though he played in the Stars' next two games.

"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 Stars went to the airport after the postponement and were in St. Louis for Tuesday night's game against the Blues.

"He's going to be OK," Ruff said. "The care he's getting and the care going forward is the most important thing."

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