NHL Game Postponed After Stars’ Rich Peverley Collapses on Bench (Video)

rich peverley collapses

Last night’s game between the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets was called off midway through the first period when Rich Peverley collapsed on the Dallas bench.

As soon as it happened, Stars coach Lindy Ruff and team trainers were frantically trying to get him off the bench and into the tunnel so he could receive medical attention. Meanwhile, the rest of the players on the bench banged their sticks on the boards to get the attention of the referees so they could halt the game. However, play went on for what seemed like an eternity until, finally, Stars players just hopped onto the ice.

Of course, our tendency is to assume that elite athletes are immune to heart problems because they are in peak physical condition. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Peverley actually has a pre-existing heart condition that has been monitored very closely by his doctors and team medical personnel. He missed the preseason and season-opener this year after undergoing a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat, a condition that was diagnosed during a training camp physical.

Last night this knowledge was a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, because everyone knew about Peverley’s pre-existing condition, they were able to take immediate action.

“We treated him for a cardiac event successfully,” said Dr. Gil Salazar. “We did chest compressions on him and defibrillated him, provided some electricity to bring a rhythm back to his heart, and that was successful with one attempt, which is very reassuring. As soon as we treated him, he regained consciousness. He was able to tell me where he was.”

That is obviously excellent news. However, knowing that Peverley has a heart arrhythmia made the situation that much more gut-wrenching for his teammates and coaches. If anyone else had collapsed, they probably wouldn’t have assumed the worst, but with Rich they knew immediately the situation could prove fatal.

“When he dropped, it was red alert,” Ruff said. “Don’t worry about the game. It was about getting the doctors. As soon as he came off the ice, I started screaming into the crowd for a doctor. The players don’t want to play, and I don’t want to coach the team right now.”

The game was halted just 6:23 in, with Columbus up 1-0. A half hour later, with shocked fans and players still looking on in disbelief, the NHL made the decision to postpone the game entirely.

“They’re shaken and they want to reschedule. We understand that,” said Columbus president John Davidson. “They were shaken to the core.”

There’s no word when the game will be made up, but right now nobody cares. They’re all just glad Rich is doing alright.

Hat Tip – [TSN]

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