I remember Rich Peverley from his days with the Atlanta Thrashers and most notably when he was traded to the Boston Bruins for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart. Now he’s with the Dallas Stars as part of the Tyler Seguin trade. But I’m not here to talk about all that.
This past Monday, a very scary thing happened. Pevs had just come off the ice when he collapsed on the bench. Thankfully, the Stars medical staff was right there, and they got him from the bench and was treating him in only 14 seconds. They gave him oxygen, performed CPR on him – he had no pulse – and shocked his heart back into rhythm. It shook his teammates and the guys on the Columbus Blue Jackets so badly that the league postponed the game and will reschedule it for another day. Alex Chiasson was so affected that he had a panic attack.
We found out later that he had what’s called atrial fibrillation. Medication and shocking the heart can take care of it short-term, but you need what’s called ablation for a long-term fix (for a really good explanation of what happened, read this article by Dr. Jo Innes). Pevs was diagnosed with afib during training camp and missed preseason and the first game of the season so he could adjust to his medication. He’d been monitored all season and only had one bout where it got to him in the week before his collapse. He was going to have an ablation during the offseason, but now it’ll happen very soon. He’s done for the season.
By the way, there’s been a heated discussion about what Pevs said when he regained consciousness – he wanted to go right back to the bench. Many were trying to hold this up as an example of “hockey players are tougher than other athletes”, but in reality he was most likely disoriented and didn’t realize what had happened. And I really hate that comparison in general.
A lot of fans brought up Jiri Fischer in talking about Pevs. He also collapsed on the bench back in 2005, but his heart condition was bad enough that he had to retire. It scares me to think that Pevs could be forced to retire because of this. He’s a good player, good enough that he helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011. Chiasson sees him as a mentor and a friend as well as a teammate. He’s a big part of the Stars.
Here’s to Pevs and a speedy recovery, and hopefully we’ll see Raptor Jesus back on the ice in the fall.