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USA TODAY
Kevin Allen, @ByKevinAllen, USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley is resting comfortably in a Dallas hospital and having tests to determine what caused his cardiac event during Monday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Stars general manager Jim Nill issued a statement Tuesday saying that the focus was on finding a long-term solution to rectify the problem.

"Our doctors at the NHLPA have been in touch with his doctors, and everything seems to be OK now," said Mathieu Schneider, special assistant to NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr.

Peverley collapsed on the bench with 6:23 gone in the first period. His teammates were seen frantically signaling for help. Peverley was carried off the bench, and doctors quickly performed chest compressions and used a defibrillator on him.

The situation was reminiscent of the 2005 incident in which Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer collapsed on the bench because of a heart issue.

"To see how quickly those doctors acted on his behalf, it reminded me of (team physician) Tony Colucci in Detroit," said former Red Wings player and current NHL executive Brendan Shanahan. "Before I even knew which one of my teammates was down on the bench, Tony was already on top of him giving him chest compressions, and he saved Jiri Fischer's life."

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he was notified immediately about what was happening in Dallas with Peverley and was updated throughout the process.

"Everything played out and transpired exactly as you would draw it up," Daly said. "Luckily, we had a fortunate result."

Peverley was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation during training camp, but he was treated and cleared to play.

Monday's game was postponed when players from both teams wanted to discontinue the game after the traumatic event. The Blue Jackets had a 1-0 lead, and they will keep that 1-0 lead when the game is replayed in its entirety.

Daly said he hoped to have a date for that makeup game by the end of Tuesday.

Schneider was sitting next to Fischer when he suffered the cardiac event in 2005. Fischer fell on Schneider when he collapsed.

"Last night was another very scary incident," Schneider said. "I got texts as soon as it happened. Obviously, it is very fortunate that they had great doctors."

Schneider said games had to be suspended in these situations.

"As a player, and being close to your teammates, it's too taxing to go back and play," Schneider said. "I would think you would be playing halfheartedly, and I would say it would be both teams. Even though your opponents may not be close to that player, it's a brother. That's the way you look at it."

The NHL has strict guidelines that state team physicians have to be available in close proximity (within 50 feet) of the players' bench.

"When Jiri Fischer went down, I know that the league implemented some procedures, and hopefully those procedures helped in this situation," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.

Daly said the league had had a number of scary incidents over the years.

"That has helped us compile medical emergency standards that we have in place," he said.

Said Schneider: "The league has done a great job ... to make sure every safety net is there and available to the guys. In the two instances I've known, the doctors have literally saved the players' lives. They are tremendous doctors, and you can't say enough for having them there."

Nill left the meetings to better monitor the situation. The Stars defeated the host St. Louis Blues 3-2 in overtime Tuesday.

"Rich has been communicating with his teammates and friends," Nill said. "He is extremely grateful for all of the prayers and support that he's received from fans and friends alike."

 

March 12, 2014

 

 
 

 

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