Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley, who collapsed on the bench during a game earlier this week, won’t return to the ice this season.
Peverley will soon have surgery to regulate his heart rate at the Cleveland Clinic, a procedure that was originally scheduled to take place in the off-season but has been moved up in the aftermath of his “cardiac event” during Monday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Recovery time for the surgery, which hasn’t been scheduled, is a few months.
“His season is over,” Dr. Robert J. Dimeff of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas said Wednesday on ESPN.com.
Peverley will wear a device that monitors his heart rate until he has surgery.
Peverley, a 31-year-old from Guelph, Ont., was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat during his physical before the start of training camp last fall. Dimeff said surgery was presented as an option to Peverley at the time but he opted to wait and doctors have kept an eye on him all season.
“It likely would keep him out for two, three months, maybe longer depending,” Dimeff said. “And so he said, ‘I’m new to the team. It’s a new coach, a new general manager. I only have a two-year contract. They’ve got to know that I can play this game,’ and that sort of thing. So we went back and forth.
“That was a joint decision, an informed decision on his part, again in consultation with the cardiology department here and our other consultants.”
Peverley spoke to the media briefly Wednesday, thanking the doctors (and many others) for their efforts, then left the press conference without answering questions.
“They all attended to me once I passed out and they saved my life and I will forever be grateful,” Peverley said.
According to doctors, Peverley’s heart stopped briefly after he collapsed but it was restored by a defibrillator as medical personnel tended to him in a tunnel beside the team’s bench.