ST. LOUIS — Dallas Stars center Rich Peverley continued to undergo tests on Tuesday afternoon at the University of Texas Southwest St. Paul Hospital to determine what caused a cardiac event in the first period of Monday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The 31-year-old Peverley collapsed on the bench after finishing a shift. Medical personnel treated him within minutes and he was immediately taken to the hospital after resuscitation efforts were successful.
Peverley, who is third on the team in scoring with seven goals and 23 assists, sent a text message to his teammates on Tuesday morning.
“We were pretty scared,” Stars captain Jamie Benn said. “But once we found out he was good and stable, it was a big relief. Rich is a big part of this team. We’re obviously a family here and we never want to see someone go down like that.”
Dallas coach Lindy Ruff spoke to reporters on Tuesday as his team prepared to face the St. Louis Blues. Ruff and general manager Jim Nill said Peverley’s condition is still listed as stable.
“Rich Peverley is resting comfortably and being monitored at UT Southwestern St. Paul,” Nill said in a statement. “He is currently undergoing testing to discover what triggered the cardiac event last night.
“The focus of all the testing and monitoring is being dedicated to finding the cause of the event and a long-term solution to rectify the problem. We do not have any more specifics at the moment. Rich has been communicating with his teammates and friends. He is extremely grateful for all of the prayers and support that he’s received from fans and friends alike.”
Ruff was quick to credit the team’s medical staff for its fast reaction.
“There is a standing ovation for what they did for our player last night,” he said.
The Dallas players were obviously shaken by the incident.
“It was very traumatic,” veteran left winger Ray Whitney said. “As a group, now knowing that [he’s] doing fine and doing well, I think it’s best to get going and play right away and get it behind us.”
Dallas general manager Jim Nill spoke with Peverley on Tuesday.
“He is extremely grateful for the prayers and support he has received,” Nill said.
St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock, a former coach in Dallas, was watching the game on TV.
“It was very emotional,” he said. “The silence was deafening.”
Like Ruff, Hitchcock was amazed by the performance of the medical staff.
“These people practice this stuff for these type of instances,” he said. “They were more than prepared.”
Peverley underwent a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat in September. He missed the preseason but returned on Oct. 5 and played in 62 games this year.
Monday night’s game was suspended with Columbus leading 1-0 with 13:37 left in the first period. It will resume at a later date.
“Thank God he’s OK,” Stars center Tyler Seguin said. “Hockey is just a game. This really puts things in perspective.”