- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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MONTREAL -- The Boston Bruins on Monday were enjoying a day off in Florida and were in the midst of a team dinner when the players learned former teammate Rich Peverley collapsed during a game due to a cardiac episode.
Peverley, who was traded from Boston to the Dallas Stars as part of the Tyler Seguin deal last July, collapsed on the bench during Monday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
The Stars’ medical staff quickly worked on Peverley before he was transported to the hospital. The game was postponed.
“I felt sick to my stomach,” said Bruins assistant captain Patrice Bergeron. “Obviously, I was really worried. The first thing I thought was trying to talk to some of my teammates to see if they had any updates. I reached out to Tyler after his game and was able to get a few answers from him, so it was good to hear he was feeling OK, he was stable. With that being said, thoughts and prayers are with him and his family and I’ll send lots of positive energy, also.”
Bruins forward Chris Kelly, who arrived in Boston along with Peverley at the trade deadline in 2011, said he is concerned for his former teammate and friend.
“It’s scary. Our thoughts and prayers are obviously with him and his family,” Kelly said. “It’s a scary thing. We were all out for dinner [Monday] night when we found out and the whole room was pretty shaken. It’s good to hear he’s doing better. I hope he gets home soon.”
Kelly said he understood why the Stars game was called.
“We all love hockey. We all love playing the game, but when something like that happens, at the end of the day it’s a game,” Kelly said. “There’s more important things than hockey, especially someone’s health is far, far more important than a game. I thought, obviously, that was the right call.”
In preparation for Wednesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, the Bruins held practice Tuesday afternoon at Bell Centre, and afterward the players were trying to get updates on Peverley. Bruins forward Shawn Thornton texted Peverley and actually received a response.
“I shot a bunch of texts to everybody. Actually Segs called me right back and gave us the 411,” Thornton said. “You never want to see that obviously, but he's one of our good friends on this team. He's one of the great guys. We were pretty worried. The room went pretty quiet, but he texted me back today though and I think he seems to be doing OK. That's a positive.”
Boston acquired Peverley from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart on Feb. 18, 2011. Peverley quickly became a favorite in the locker room and helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup that season.
On Tuesday, Julien said the Peverley trade was a business decision, but that he's still popular with the Bruins.
“Just because you make trades, we know that you separate the personal with the business side of it. The personal side of it had absolutely nothing to do with that trade because he was well-respected, like I said, by his teammates and by the coaching staff,” Julien said. “We liked Rich. He’s a good person. He was a good player. He cared about the game. He cared about his performance, to the point where sometimes he was too hard on himself. He’s a player, he’s an individual, more importantly that we got to know. Our thoughts and our prayers were with him as much as his teammates that he has now had for him. But like I said, just for us it’s glad to hear there’s a good ending at the end of this all. You always fear the worst.”