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Rich Peverley done for the season; NHL future uncertain

Rich Peverley of the Dallas Stars Further testing on his heart will help determine when or if Rich Peverley can play again. (Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

Medical experts took less than 15 seconds to revive Rich Peverley after the Dallas Stars forward collapsed on the team's bench in a scary scene on Monday night.

And they owe that success to plans implemented by the NHL in the wake of a similar cardiac event that felled Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer back in 2005.

"It wasn't one doctor that saved Rich's life that night," said Dr. William J. Robertson. "It was the system. It's a credit to the NHL, to the Dallas Stars for where they put us. These are expensive seats. They put us right behind the bench where we can see the ice at all times and be close enough to act."

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Peverley read a prepared statement at the beginning of today's press conference in Dallas, thanking doctors, the team, his friends and family:

Thank you all for coming today. On behalf of my wife, Nathalie, all of my family and myself, we'd like to thank a number of people who saved my life. Dr. Robert Dimeff, Dr. Bill Robertson, Dr. Gil Salazar and Dave Zeis, our trainer with the Dallas Stars. They all attended to me when I passed out. They saved my life and I will forever be grateful.

Also, I would to thank UT Southwestern Medical Center for their continued care. Dr. Reimold and Dr. Joglar have been by my side since I got here and they've been everything for me. I would also like to thank the Dallas Stars organization as a whole. They have been supportive not only of myself, but of my family. Particularly the owner, Tom Gaglardi, Jim Nill, Lindy Ruff have all been in constant contact with me this entire time.

I'd also like to say thank you to my wife and family for their love and support.

Finally, I'd like to thank everyone from past and present teammates, management, coaches, my agent, fans and media and the entire NHL family for all their support. I'm very much grateful. Thank you.

He then left the room without answering questions.

But the one that was on everyone's minds was handled by Dr. Robert J. Dimeff, the team's director of medical services: Peverley is out for the remainder of the season. In time, he'll head to the Cleveland Clinic to undergo testing that was previously planned for the offseason.

His future remains uncertain. "I'm not ready to answer whether Peverley can continue to play hockey at this point," Dr. Dimeff said. "We need results from further testing."

More to come.

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