Ever since March 10th, Rich Peverley has experienced drastic changes throughout his everyday life.
When Rich Peverley briefly died before being on the Dallas Stars bench last year during the first period of an exhibition match against the Columbus Blue Jackets, most feared his days of hockey were done for good. But he’s not ready for that day to happen just yet.
“Everything’s been going really well,” Peverley said during an interview with KTCK 1310 The Ticket on Friday, July 11th. “Just been ramping it up as time goes on and as I keep achieving new goals, and everything’s been going really well.”
At least one doctor has given Peverley the green light to play again, but there are still plenty of other tasks to complete before he can get back to playing on the ice. Peverley still remains hopeful that he will be able to return to playing in the NHL, though. “I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen, but I’m hoping to play and it’s got to be under the right circumstances. So we’ll wait and see and hopefully I can. I’m kind of hoping that way,” Peverley said.
This is not Rich Peverley’s first incident with his heart. He missed the first six preseason games and the regular season opener against the Florida Panthers due to a less severe irregular heartbeat condition that was treated with miniature shocks to get his heart back on track. Peverley had a successful surgery to completely correct his irregular heartbeat on March 19th, just nine days after he collapsed and was effectively shut down and forbidden from playing hockey for the rest of the 2013-2014 regular season, including the Stars six game postseason appearance as well.
A few weeks after the surgery, doctors gave Peverley the chance to do light and non-physical workouts, and he lent a hand to his fellow teammates by becoming a temporary coach for team practices and scrimmages.
Peverley will now take small steps and go inch by inch on his road to recovery. Peverley said, “To actually clear me to play is a lot of steps down the road, but they did clear me almost within a couple of weeks of the first surgery that I had. Now it’s just slowly taking steps of getting the heart rate higher. My next step will probably be getting off medication that I’m on to control my heartbeat still. Once I’m off of that, we’ll see what happens in terms of how my heart reacts to no medication and see what happens when it’s stressed.”
If Peverley does end up getting the medical clearance to get back to playing hockey, he will also take a long look at the decision with his family. Peverley, 32, is married along with two children, so a consultation will be in order. “When I get to that step and cross that bridge, I’ll cross it,” Peverley said. “I think there’s definitely a lot of factors, myself, my family, my wife, I have two kids and I think it’s got to be made under the right circumstances, under the right, educated decision. I think we also have to take into fact of the coaches and the players that were there that night and their comfort level and the organization’s comfort level of having me come back. I can’t answer for anyone else except for myself, but right now I’m motivated to come back. But like I said, it’s got to be under the right circumstances.”
Peverley had an impressive year, scoring 7 goals and tallying 23 assists throughout 62 games played. He is a motivational player that helps build up others on the ice, as well as a determined center in the faceoff dot that knows how to move the puck into the zone and score with it.
There is a lot of speculation that Peverley will return, but some hope that Peverley will stay away, for his own good at least. With an arsenal full of forwards, the Stars will be juggling the starting positions next year, but Peverley should be able to lock down a starting spot from his experience and his performance last year, if he does decide to come back.
Either way, he has gained the support of not just Dallas Stars fans, but the entire league. There is no timetable scheduled yet for when a decision will be made, but there are a lot more steps that have to be cleared before the dream becomes a reality.
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