It’s always scary when a guy goes down and you can tell that he’s out of it and our thoughts and prayers and hearts go out to him and the Stars and his family - Kevin Westgarth
CALGARY, AB -- The incident didn’t happen close to Calgary, but it still hit home in the Flames dressing room.
Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench during the first period of a game between the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, halting play just 6:23 into the game. He was treated for a cardiac event and was conscious when taken to a nearby hospital where he remains in stable condition.
“It’s always scary when a guy goes down and you can tell that he’s out of it and our thoughts and prayers and hearts go out to him and the Stars and his family,” Kevin Westgarth said.
The game between the Stars and Blue Jackets was halted and will be rescheduled at a later date.
“That was the only thing to do. Not the right thing, the only thing to do,” coach Bob Hartley said. “There’s a player with his life hanging to a thread. As a coach, as a player, how can you prepare and even as a fan sitting in the stands, how can you enjoy a game where you see a guy leaving on a stretcher?
“I go back to those days and I think about the Dan Snyder incident. We forgot about hockey for a long, long time even though we were still practicing and playing. You can’t measure those things. It’s just to show that hockey is a great game, but it’s only a game.”
Peverley has a known heart condition. He missed the preseason and season opener for the Stars because of a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat, which was diagnosed during a training camp physical. He made his Dallas debut on Oct. 5 and has played 62 games this season.
The Guelph, ON. native sat out a game at Columbus last week due to an irregular heartbeat. He then played in the Stars’ next two games before the contest against the Blue Jackets on Monday.
In an alarming scene, personnel carried Peverley away from the bench area and into a hallway leading to the Dallas locker room where he was provided oxygen and an IV before chest compressions and a defibrillator brought a rhythm back to his heart.
The quick actions of both the medical staffs of the Stars and Blue Jackets earned plenty of applause from the Flames.
“If we draw a positive, it’s talking about the medical staff of every team,” Hartley said. “Those guys always go under the radar. They never get any credit. They’re ultimate pros. If those guys are not ready, maybe today it’s even a sadder day.”
“It’s a scary thing and it is incredible to see how good the medical staffs are here in the NHL,” he said. “It’s a scary incident, but again, it’s incredible to see these guys in action and taking care of business.”