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Rich Peverley of Dallas Stars collapses on bench; NHL postpones game

Peverely
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Peverely

Rich Peverley of the Dallas Stars collapsed on their bench during the first period of Monday night's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and was immediately tended to by medical personnel before being taken to the hospital.

After a lengthy delay, and with the players on both teams stunned, the NHL elected to postpone the rest of the game.

The NHL's statement:

Dallas player Rich Peverley is doing well and is in stable condition. He has 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.

With 13:37 left in the first period, Dallas players started pouring over the boards to get the officials’ attention to stop the action. The Blue Jackets’ players stood up and craned their necks to the left toward the Dallas bench, where personnel were frantically surrounding Peverley.

Trainers quickly carried him to the back without a stretcher by his hands and legs. The players stood around for several minutes, some players on one knee on the ice, before both teams returned to their locker rooms.

Here's the scene as it unfolded in the game:

And a longer look (no sound):

Peverely was conscious upon being transferred to a local hospital for further evaluation, according to the Stars. 

"First thing Rich asked me when I spoke to him was, 'How much time left in the period?' You know, typical athlete," said Coach Lindy Ruff. "When he dropped. It was red alert. Don't worry about the game. It was about getting the doctors."

Here's Stars doctor Gil Salazar:

Peverely had a procedure before the season to correct an irregular heartbeat. From the Dallas News, Stars GM Jim Nill said:

“It turns out he had an `a-fib’ condition,” Nill said. “He’ll be out three weeks and should be available close to the start of the season. He might miss one or two games.”

Nill said the procedure entailed shocking the heart and getting it back into rhythm. He said that the training staff did a good job of picking up the problem when looking at his EKG during his physical.

“The medical staff did a great job, they recognized this,” Nill said. “They picked it up on the EKG, and he’s going to be fine.”

But the heart issue resurfaced last week. Peverely "felt strange" after a game on March 3 and then missed the Stars' next game against Columbus on March 4. He returned to the lineup on Thursday, March 6.

“It was the same thing,” Coach Lindy Ruff told the Dallas News. “He’s been monitoring it the whole year and this might have been the first or second time it’s come around, but it’s something he has to deal with and it’s something that obviously we’re aware of.”

Peverely, 31, was acquired from the Boston Bruins in the Tyler Seguin trade.

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