Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Heart to Heart

In the NHL preseason, Rich Peverly of the Dallas Stars underwent a procedure to address an irregular heartbeat.  Medical professionals monitored his health throughout the season.  It wasn't enough.  Less than a minute after finishing a shift 6 minutes into tonight's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, he collapsed on the Stars' bench, and the ensuing emergency and concern caused the game to be called (it's postponed until an as yet unscheduled time).  For the record, he is alive and as well as can be expected in this situation.  When he came to and was able to talk to Stars' coach Lindy Ruff, he asked about the progress of the game.  You can't say for sure that there was no damage, but it's a good sign, I think.

Short term, this game was postponed, and Dallas' game tomorrow against St. Louis may also be postponed.  I'm not sure about tomorrow, but today, anyone suggesting any other course of action is wrong.  This impacts fans, and the teams, but those things are manageable.

The medium term repercussions are obvious.  Peverly will be out for some time to recover and determine his future with regards to hockey.  He's not a prolific scorer, but he has 30 points in the season, that's important.  Dallas' players will have to manage their emotional state, after experiencing an event like this.  Game schedules will have to be rearranged.

Long term, the NHL and the organizations involved in this come out smelling like roses.  He survived, with most if not all of his faculties intact.  His wife was present at the arena or at least able to get to the hospital with him.  The management of this medical emergency couldn't have been better, and the NHL is acknowledging the concern of the fans, both for Peverly as a person and for the more business oriented side of things.  I reserve judgement on how they will handle the people who came to see a game and only got just over 6 minutes of hockey.  But I think they'll do the right thing, for once.
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