Rich Peverley attended Dallas Stars practice as a spectator Thursday, returning to a rink for the first time since collapsing on the bench during Monday night’s game.
Peverley, who has been ruled out for the remainder of the season and will soon undergo heart surgery, was not an active participant in practice, but his mere presence at the arena was a great relief to his teammates.
“He walked in the back and started shaking hands, and he didn’t get far, he was kind of swarmed,” Stars winger Ray Whitney said, according to The Dallas Morning News. “We didn’t shake hands so much as we all hugged him. It was an emotional moment.”
Stars rookie Alex Chiasson was one of the players most affected by the incident, so much so that he was unable to play Tuesday night against the St. Louis Blues. Chiasson visited Peverley in the hospital earlier in the week, and he spoke Thursday about the emotional impact Peverley has on the team.
“I had never seen anything like that happen,” the Boston University product said. “For me, Pevs was someone I sat next to in the locker room, was someone that took care of me on the road and was the first one to text me to see if I wanted to go to dinner. For the young guys, it’s always hard to open up and ask questions, and he was the guy I leaned on for that type of thing throughout the year. Emotionally, it was really hard. There’s different thoughts that go through your mind. You never want to see anything like that.”
Hear more from Stars practice in the video below.