Rich Peverley out for rest of season

Updated: March 13, 2014, 10:56 AM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Stars forward Rich Peverley will not play again this season and will undergo a procedure aimed at regulating his heart rate.

Peverley was released from UT Southwestern St. Paul Hospital on Wednesday night following two days of tests after he collapsed on the bench in Monday's game and was treated for a cardiac event. His next step is to head to Cleveland for surgery, which was originally scheduled for the offseason.

Recovery will take at least a few months.

[+] EnlargeRich Peverley
AP Photo/Tim SharpRich Peverley addressed the media briefly on Wednesday and thanked his doctors, the Stars and fans for their support. He will have a procedure soon in Cleveland aimed at regulating his heart rate.

"His season is over," Dr. Robert J. Dimeff, primary care sports medicine director at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said Wednesday during a news conference.

Peverley, 31, collapsed on the Stars' bench early in Monday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at American Airlines Center. He was treated immediately by medical personnel in the tunnel that leads from the ice to the Stars' dressing room.

Doctors on the scene said Peverley was treated for a "cardiac event" and that he was defibrillated successfully after one attempt. Dimeff said Peverley's heart was beating very fast and then stopped, but he thinks for only a few seconds. It didn't take long for medical personnel -- and an unknown woman in a green Stars jersey who is believed to be a season-ticket holder -- to jump into action and start CPR.

Dimeff said that the results of tests Peverley has undergone since have been normal.

Peverley made a brief appearance at the news conference and thanked doctors for saving his life, and the team's coaches, front office and fans for their support. He shook hands with all of the doctors and departed.

Dimeff said he and his team practice responding to medical emergencies on the ice and were able to get Peverley from the bench to the tunnel in 14 seconds. The NHL mandates that games are staffed by doctors, emergency responders, a plastic surgeon and a dentist.

"It's controlled panic, but everything was done very professionally and there were no issues," Dimeff said.

Dimeff said his staff is coordinating with those in Cleveland and that Peverley will undergo the procedure soon. Dimeff said he and his staff discussed a variety of treatment options before the season started, including the surgery in Cleveland, after atrial fibrillation, the most common type of heart arrhythmia, was discovered during Peverley's preseason physical.

"It likely would keep him out for two, three months, maybe longer, depending," Dimeff said. "And so he said, 'I'm new to the team. It's a new coach, a new general manager. I only have a two-year contract. They've got to know that I can play this game,' and that sort of thing. So we went back and forth.

"That was a joint decision, an informed decision on his part, again in consultation with the cardiology department here and our other consultants."

Dimeff said the question of whether it's safe for Peverley to play hockey again wasn't one they wanted to address yet.

Doctors have been keeping watch on Peverley during the season. He wears a heart monitor at practice, has his pulse checked regularly and has a device that alerts him if he's experiencing atrial fibrillation, though Dimeff said Peverley has learned how he feels when he has it.

Last week, when Peverley did not make the team's trip to Columbus, Dimeff said the player felt sluggish from the Stars' previous game. Doctors altered the dose of his medication, and he played in two home games before his collapse Monday night.

It's unclear how long Peverley has had heart issues. Dimeff speculated that it's possible Peverley played in last year's Stanley Cup finals for Boston with the condition.

The Stars played at St. Louis on Tuesday night, winning on captain Jamie Benn's goal in overtime. Coach Lindy Ruff texted Peverley to let him know the Stars won. His response, according to Ruff: "Keep rolling, and we'll see you tomorrow [Wednesday]."

Teammate Alex Chiasson didn't feel well after witnessing the event Monday and did not play in the Stars' win in St. Louis. Ruff said Wednesday that Chiasson has skated and feels good. The coach believes Chiasson will play Friday, the Stars' next game. As for the conclusion of Monday's game following Peverley's collapse, the league will decide if it will need to be completed.

Peverley was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat before the season, thanks to an EKG taken during his physical. He underwent a procedure to address the issue and debuted with the club on Oct. 5. He played in 62 games this season, with seven goals and 23 assists. 

He joined the Stars before the 2013-14 season as part of a trade that brought Tyler Seguin from Boston.

Peverley has played in 442 games in all or parts of 10 seasons with Nashville, Atlanta, Boston and Dallas. He has 241 points -- 84 goals, 157 assists.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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