“Lindy saying he’s OK, he’s asking about ‘Can he play?’ again, I think calmed everybody down,” Hitchcock said. “But there was no way you could play the game. The look on the players’ faces on both sides, there was no way you could play the game.”
Blues forward Brenden Morrow has vivid memories of Buffalo’s Richard Zednik getting his throat slashed by the skate of a tumbling teammate in 2008. Morrow roomed with Zednik in juniors, and the two were close friends.
“Those are scary things,” Morrow said. “I don’t even know where to begin with what they’re thinking in that locker room.”
The 31-year-old Peverley, who averaged 16 minutes of ice time in all six games of the Stanley Cup finals last season with Boston, was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat in training camp and underwent a procedure that sidelined him through the first regular-season game.
He had played in 60 consecutive games before sitting out at Columbus last week due to effects of his heart condition, but Monday’s game was his third straight since then.
“He’s always taken the precautions, he’s a very focused, organized guy, you can say,” said Seguin, who won the Stanley Cup with Peverley while with Boston. “Sometimes bad things happen to good people.”
A doctor who specializes in the study of athletes and heart conditions questioned whether Peverley should have been playing, while taking care not to criticize those handling his medical needs.
“It’s a symptomatic athlete,” said Dr. Barry Maron of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. “That’s the key. A symptomatic athlete with known heart disease who is out there. That would not seem to be optimal.”
Ruff said there were no previous concerns about Peverley, and he praised team doctors for doing “a fabulous job monitoring the situation.” Before the morning skate, Ruff emphasized the positive medical report.
“He’s doing good, he’s stable and he’s in good spirits,” he said. “A few guys who’ve interacted say he’s got his sense of humor back already.”
Stars general manager Jim Nill said Peverley was undergoing tests to find the “cause of the event and a long-term solution.” The condition places Peverley’s career in jeopardy, and it is likely he won’t be back this season.
This adds poignancy to Peverley’s request, upon being revived, to get back out there. Every NHL season is filled with tales of players heading to the dressing room for repairs, getting stitched up, then rejoining the action seemingly no worse for wear.
“Athletes in general, hockey players in general are kind of weird that way,” Stars forward Ray Whitney said. “You’ll play through injuries. I’m not sure about playing through a heart injury. That’s a little bit aggressive in my opinion, but that’s Rich.”