A very scary scene took place tonight in the NHL. Former-Admiral and current member of the Dallas Stars Rich Peverley collapsed on the player bench during tonight’s game between the Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets. He was rushed down the player tunnel, needed defibrillation, regained consciousness, and was taken immediately to a local hospital.
You can view the incident as it happen via Deadspin. You can tell how quickly the Stars bench acted – not only to seek treatment for Peverley but to get the game stopped. In just a matter of seconds they had him moved down the tunnel to receive emergency medical treatment. For all we know – it is the fast acting of the people on that bench, seeing him and then moving him, that could have saved his life.
The game was delayed and then postponed. Clearly, after having witnessed what they did – especially for the teammates of Peverley on the Stars, that was the correct move to be made on the part of the NHL. In no way should the game have been ressumed for two and a half more periods of play with something such as that looming over it.
Peverley was a member of the Milwaukee Admirals from 2005-08. He has played with four different NHL franchises: Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, and the Dallas Stars. Perhaps his best run came as a member of the 2010-11 Stanley Cup winning Bruins team.
It’s been well documented that Peverley has had a history of cardiac issues. He had missed the entire pre-season and opening game of the season due to an irregular heartbeat. That same issue crept up again last week and prevented him from playing in Columbus. Having felt strange following the game the night prior to that – he was unable to fly with the team. He had played in two games prior to tonight’s game – picking up three assists in the process.
Details are only just beginning to come out from tonight’s shocking incident in Dallas. Here are some quotes via Mike Heika of the Dallas News:
“As soon as he came off the ice, he collapsed,” Ruff said. “I instantly stood on the bench and started screaming up in the crowd for a doctor… I was just screaming to let the doctors know we needed somebody ASAP and they were there ASAP. I can tell you firsthand, it was an absolute marvel what they went through.”
“He was brought back to the hallway for treatment, where we treated him for a cardiac event, successfully treated with standard therapy,” said Dr. Gil Salazar of UT Southwestern, one of the doctors who treated Peverley. “As soon as we treated him, he regained consciousness. He was alert and awake talking to us after the event and quickly transported to the hospital. At this point, I was able to talk to him in the back of the ambulance and he was able to tell me where he was and he actually wanted to get back in the game.”
“We provided oxygen for him. We started an IV. 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,” Salazar said.
“We have a specialized team that’s implemented that trains pre-season with the training staff who did a fantastic job today, and that team is made up of internal medicine doctors, orthopedic surgeons, trauma surgeons, trauma doctors, airway specialists, they’re all here to respond to incidents like this along with the Dallas Fire and Rescue paramedic staff,” Robertson said. “We train for episodes like this with the hopes that they never arise, but our ability to act today quickly for Rich is a testament to the training staff and the team approach to how we prepare for these events.”
“I had a discussion with the players first. I addressed (them), just saying a prayer for Rich and thanking God that he was OK and told them that the first thing he asked me was how much time left in the first period?” Ruff said. “That’s a typical athlete, but there’s not one guy in that room that wants to play hockey right now and I’m not there to persuade them to play. I don’t want to coach a team right now.”
I’m hoping and praying the very best for Rich Peverley, his family, and the entire Dallas Stars organization. Thanks to the fast actions of some outstanding individuals – I believe the biggest bullet in Peverley’s life may well have been successfully dodged tonight in Dallas.