I was going to write about the winners and losers of the NHL trade deadline, but something last night in Dallas happened that I need to address. Last night during the Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Dallas Stars game at American Airlines Arena, Stars’ center Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench.
Peverley was rushed to the hospital after medical personnel shocked his heart with the use of an AED machine. He did regain consciousness after being shocked and even asked to return to the game according to Stars’ head coach Lindy Ruff.
This isn’t the first time that Peverley has encountered an issue with his heart, as he missed training camp and the start of the season after having a procedure that tried to correct an irregular heartbeat. The game was eventually postponed after a lengthy delay. (There has been no decision when a makeup date will be.) He was diagnosed with have A-fib or Atrial fibrillation.
The most important thing is that Peverley is doing OK and resting in the hospital. Also, let’s acknowledge how great the medical professionals in reviving Peverley in such a quick manner. They are paid professionals, but their quick response saved the day. There was a similar incident in the NHL in 2005 when Detroit Red Wing Jiri Fischer suffered a cardiac incident. Changes were made to have AED machines and team doctors by the benches. These changes helped doctors treat Peverley in a rapid manner.
Let’s also give praise to the Dallas Stars broadcast team at Fox Sports Southwest of Ralph Strangis and Darryl Reaugh for how they handled this whole situation. The same could also be said for the Columbus Blue Jackets team of Jeff Rimer and Bill Davidge at Fox Sports Ohio. Here’s video of the incident from FS Southwest. Viewer discretion is advised.
Both crews did a great job in handling the situation and didn’t do a lot of speculating on something delicate. The Blue Jackets’ and Stars’ crews did a fantastic job of relaying information when it was confirmed. Too often in the age of Twitter, people are too quick to get out supposed information without confirming it. Columbus also managed to get president of hockey operations John Davidson on to tell the viewers that the game had been postponed. Once again, both broadcast teams managed to balance the need for information with the sensitivity of the incident.
The NHL also did a good job in postponing the game and giving updates on Peverley as well. Seeing something like that took a lot out of the Stars, and someone could’ve gotten seriously injured because their head might not have been in the game. Here's video of the press conference that happened after the game. (Thanks to TSN Canada for this.)
Once things settle down, there’s going to be speculation on whether or not Peverley can ever play again. That’s something that he and his family are going to have to make a decision on with the help of a medical professionals. People, including many world class athletes, have gone on in their professional sports careers despite having the condition. However, there have been other athletes such as Hank Gathers and Reggie Lewis that died due to their heart conditions. (Although, it was not attributed to a fib.)
Peverley is a heck of center and has done a lot to get the Stars on the verge of the playoffs. I told people at the beginning of the year during the Tyler Seguin trade that Peverley would be an important bonus for Dallas in that trade. He’s a heck of a faceoff specialist, penalty killer and can chip in with a timely goal or two.
The most important thing is that Peverley can have a solid quality of life and live for a long time. Hockey can wait. He has to get his medical house in order, and only then can he worry about lacing up the skates for the Stars or any other NHL team. Let’s all hope that he recovers.
It’s been a while since I’ve done this, but let’s do some games of the week.
Detroit at Columbus, 7 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Detroit+, Fox Sports Ohio): This is a critical game to decide a wild card playoff spot. Also, how will Columbus react after seeing what happened to Rich Peverley?
Washington at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN, TSN2, ROOT Pittsburgh): Ovie vs. Crosby is always fun, but the Caps need to get a move on to reach the playoffs.
Dallas at St. Louis, 8 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southwest+, Fox Sports Midwest): How will the Stars react after last night against one of the Stanley Cup favorites?
Boston at Montreal, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN, TSN, RDS): Bruins vs. Habs. Enough said.
Chicago at Colorado, 9:30 p.m. ET (Comcast Chicago, Altitude): Pivotal matchup in the Central for the Hawks and Avs.
It’s also been a while for this, but it’s time for the wow, the wrong and the weird with the First star, Worst star and who blew up the Death Star?
Carolina prospect and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound Sergey Tolchinsky goes AND1 Mix Tape with this goal against Sarnia in the OHL.
Vancouver’s Zack Kassian gets his cheap shot on against Brenden Dillon of Dallas.
Who blew up the Death Star?
The ECHL’s Las Vegas Wranglers channel their inner-Webslinger with these Spider-Man jerseys worn for charity.
That’s it for today. I’ll get the trade deadline winners and losers along with Top 10 games to watch. Take care.
Dan Mount is an NHL writer for TJRSports.com. He is based out of Watertown NY and can be reached on Twitter @DanMountSports.