DALLAS -- The cardiac event that caused Dallas Stars center Rich Peverley to collapse on the bench during the first period of a game Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets has ended his season.
Peverley will have surgery at the Cleveland Clinic to remedy his heart issue, atrial fibrillation, a form of cardiac arrhythmia. The procedure is aimed at regulating his heart rate, and recovery will take at least a few months.
Peverley appeared Wednesday at a news conference at University of Texas Southwestern St. Paul University Hospital and read a statement thanking doctors for saving his life, and Stars coaches, front office and fans for their support.
"On behalf of my wife, Nathalie, all of my family and myself, I'd like to thank you and to thank all the people that saved my life," Peverley said. "But I'd also like to thank the Dallas Stars organization as a whole. They have been supporting not only myself but my family. The owner, Tom Gaglardi; [general manager] Jim Nill; [coach] Lindy Ruff have all been in constant contact with me this entire time. I'd also like to say thank you to my wife and family for their love and support. Finally, I'd like to thank everyone from past and present teammates to management, coaches, my agent, fans, and media from the entire NHL family for all their support, for which I'm very much grateful."
Peverley shook hands with all of the doctors and left without taking questions. Nill then thanked everyone who had a hand in saving Peverley's life.
"The last couple days have been a lot of anxiety, a lot of unknown. It turns out it's a great day. To walk in here and see Rich Peverley walking in with us, I don't think you get a much better day than that," Nill said. "I'd like to personally, on behalf of the entire organization, thank some people that did an outstanding job. To watch what they did under these circumstances, like I said, we're so thankful and just very impressed."
Dr. Robert J. Dimeff, the Stars' director of medical services, said Peverley had a procedure known as cardioversion at the Cleveland Clinic prior to the season to correct an irregular heartbeat. He was sidelined for all of training camp and missed the season opener against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 3.
Dimeff said Peverley will undergo the next procedure soon, and it could have been performed prior to the start of the preseason. But he said there was a consensus that it could wait until the season was over and Peverley's heart issue could be managed until then through medication and constant monitoring.
"We had lengthy discussions about that with Rich, his wife and agent, and moved forward in his best interest, which is what he wanted to do, and the Stars were fully supportive of this," Dimeff said.
Peverley collapsed after returning to the bench following a shift 5:50 into the first period of the game against the Blue Jackets at American Airlines Center. He was quickly carried to a hallway behind the Stars bench, where he was resuscitated by medical personnel before being taken to the hospital.
Play was halted 33 seconds later. The game was postponed and will be made up at a date to be determined by the NHL.
Peverley, who was acquired with Tyler Seguin in a trade from the Boston Bruins on July 4, 2013, wanted to postpone the second heart procedure until after the season because he was on a two-year contract and wanted to make a favorable first impression with his new team.
Dimeff said Peverley has come through an extensive round of tests well.
"Thankfully all that testing has been normal," Dimeff said. "The catheterization of his coronary arteries is normal. His heart muscle is normal. It's just this electrical disturbance that he has."
In 62 games with Dallas this season, Peverley had seven goals and 30 points. He has 84 goals and 241 points in 442 regular-season games with the Stars, Bruins, Nashville Predators and Atlanta Thrashers.
The Stars recalled center Colton Sceviour from Texas of the American Hockey League to replace Peverley. Sceviour, the AHL's leading goal-scorer when he was recalled, had a goal in Dallas' 3-2 overtime win at the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.