DALLAS Dallas Stars center Rich Peverley, who collapsed on the team bench during a recent game, is out for the rest of the season and will undergo a procedure to regulate his heart rate, the NHL team said on Wednesday.
Peverley, who will need further testing after his surgery to determine if he can resume his National Hockey League career, was originally scheduled to have the procedure in the offseason but it was moved up after the recent episode.
Monday's game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas was stopped when Peverley, 31, collapsed during in the first period. He was treated immediately by nearby personnel and regained consciousness before being taken to hospital.
"They all attended to me as I passed out and they saved my life. I'll forever be grateful," Peverley, who made a brief appearance at the news conference, told reporters.
Peverley, traded to Dallas last July, was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat last September. He underwent a procedure to correct the issue and sat out the preseason and season opener before making his Stars debut on October 5.
He would play in 60 consecutive games before sitting out a March 4 contest due to his heart condition. Peverley played in the Stars' next two games before collapsing less than seven minutes into Monday's opening period.
After Peverley collapsed his teammates were pounding their sticks on the boards in an attempt to get the attention of the game officials. When their efforts failed, they jumped on the ice while play was going on.
Peverley was carried from the team bench into a hallway where doctors gave him oxygen and used a defibrillator, and he regained consciousness before being taken to the hospital.
The game was eventually postponed with no decision yet regarding its completion.
Peverley, an eight-year NHL veteran, won a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011.
He has 30 points in 62 games this season, which puts him fourth in scoring on a Dallas team that is currently holding onto the final Western Conference playoff spot with 17 games left in the regular season.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)