ST. LOUIS – Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley was undergoing heart tests Tuesday to determine what triggered his collapse during a game. He has company in the hospital.
Teammate Alex Chiasson was being treated after becoming despondent about Peverley’s plight. He didn’t join the team for its trip to St. Louis.
“He was shaken by the whole event,” coach Lindy Ruff said after the Stars’ morning skate prior to playing the Blues. “He wasn’t doing very well so we thought best to get him under some care.”
Peverley’s collapsed on the bench Monday night during the first period of the Stars’ home game against Columbus, stunning the crowd and players alike. He was rushed to the depths of the arena, where he was treated for a “cardiac event” and the game was postponed with the Blue Jackets leading 1-0.
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; he played in two more games before Monday night.
General manager Jim Nill said Peverley was in stable condition, and has been communicating with teammates and friends since he was hospitalized.
“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.
The rest of the team was doing its best to focus on the good news.
“We’re going to regroup,” center Jamie Benn said. “I guess we’ll be playing for Rich tonight.”
Tyler Seguin came off the ice just ahead of Peverley on Monday night and thought at first that Peverley had “broken his leg or something.”
“I was right beside him there when it was all happening,” Seguin said. “Pevs has been in pretty much every memory I have in my pro hockey career so far. It’s going to be weird playing without him.”
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. Sergei Gonchar stared blankly near fellow defenseman Trevor Daley, who was hunched over on the bench, wiping his face with a towel.
“We were watching it on TV,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “The silence was just deafening.”
Dr. Gil Salazar of UT Southwestern Hospitals said doctors succeeded in shocking Peverley’s heart back into rhythm at American Airlines Center. Peverley’s wife, Nathalie, accompanied him to the hospital, and the Stars told the Blue Jackets they weren’t up for finishing the game. The NHL didn’t say when it would be rescheduled.
“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. Ruff said there were no previous concerns about Peverley and praised team doctors for doing “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.