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Catching up with Rich Peverley

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

Rich Peverley is in town this weekend for Saturday’s Pevs Protects Night for the American Heart Association at American Airlines Center. Peverley and the Stars are working together to raise both funds and awareness for the American Heart Association through the Dallas Stars Foundation.

Peverley suffered a cardiac incident and collapsed on the bench in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 10, 2014. His heart condition led to his retirement hockey. He now serves as the Player Development Coordinator for the Stars, working with Dallas prospects in juniors, college and Europe.

“It’s a lot of travel but it’s fun,” Peverley said.

On Friday, Peverley talked with the media briefly about his role with the Stars and his work to promote heart health.

On the transition to his job with the Stars

“I love it so much that it doesn’t feel like a job. I love what I am doing. I think that year Jim [Nill] and the organization gave me to go down to Cedar Park and do the eye in the sky stuff really helped me. First of all, it helped me from an emotional standpoint, but it helped me transition to the job a lot easier, that’s for sure.”

On the importance of working with prospects

“It’s about being there for the players, molding them into becoming professionals. Not all of them will, but it’s giving them the opportunity and putting the time in to show that the organization cares. There are little things that I try to help in their games. It’s nutrition, health. It’s becoming a good pro, and that is starting the process a little earlier.”

On promoting heart health

“I thought a lot about it over my time living here last year; it was a lot about figuring out what I want to do. The families that reached out to me and the survivor stories I heard – I gave my tickets away last year to survivors in the DFW area – those are the people that pushed me to do this. I am lucky that I had the spotlight for an unfortunate reason, and now I can use that spotlight to save people and promote what we are trying to do, which is to get more AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) out there and heart health care.”

On having a different role in life now that he is not playing

“I enjoy what I am doing from a career standpoint but also from this other path it has led me down of being a spokesperson for heart health and AEDs. I feel like I am here for a reason and my reason in Dallas this weekend is hopefully to save some people’s lives that might not know that cardiac arrest might happen. I feel good about what I am doing right now.”

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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