Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley won’t be playing hockey any more this season.
Two days after Peverley suffered what was described as a "cardiac event" on the Dallas bench during a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, doctors have determined the 31-year-old should skip the remainder of the season and undergo another heart procedure at the Cleveland Clinic originally planned for the off-season.
“His season for participating in hockey this year is over, so he’s done,” Dr. Robert Dimeff said Wednesday during a press conference at UT Southwestern St. Paul Hospital in Dallas.
Peverley's status beyond this season is not yet known, according to Dimeff. Dimeff also said Peverley was given the option of treating atrial fibrillation, the most common type of heart arrhythmia, with a minor adjustment and medication or missing several months to undergo a more invasive approach.
Peverley attended the press conference, along with coach Lindy Ruff and general manager Jim Nill, and made a brief statement.
“On behalf of my wife Natalie, all my family and myself, we’d like to thank a number of people that have saved my life,” said Peverley.”First I want to start off with Robert Dimeff, Dr. Bill Robertson, Gil Salazar and Dave Zeis our trainer for the Dallas Stars. They all attended to me once I passed out and they saved my life, and I will forever be grateful.”
Peverley then got up and personally thanked Ruff, Nill and his doctors before leaving.
When he walked out of the news conference at St. Paul University Hospital, Peverley could be seen wearing a device that a doctor later described as something that monitors his heart rate constantly and can automatically implement corrective measures if the heartbeat gets out of rhythm.
Peverley remains hospitalized, but all heart tests have been normal, Dimeff said.
"The last couple of days have been a lot of anxiety, a lot of unknown," Nill said. "It turns out that it's a great day to walk in here, to see Rich Peverley walking in here."
Peverley didn’t take questions.
Peverley, from Kingston, Ont., underwent a procedure six months ago to correct an irregular heartbeat, and also missed a game last week with a recurrence of the problem.
Monday's game was stopped 6:23 into the first period American Airlines Center, when Dallas players noticed their teammate in distress and jumped over the boards to stop the game.
As medical staff rushed to help Peverley, players and staff on both teams were clearly shaken, and a postponement of the game was announced about 30 minutes later. Peverley was rushed to hospital where he was in stable condition after undergoing tests.