"His season is over," Dr. Robert J. Dimeff, primary care sports medicine director at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said Wednesday during a news conference.
Peverley made a brief appearance at the news conference and thanked doctors for saving his life, and the team's coaches, front office and fans for their support. He shook hands with all of the doctors and departed.
Dimeff said he and his team practice responding to medical emergencies on the ice and were able to get Peverley from the bench to the tunnel in 14 seconds. The NHL mandates that games are staffed by doctors, emergency responders, a plastic surgeon and a dentist.
"It's controlled panic, but everything was done very professionally and there were no issues," Dimeff said.
Peverley's heart stopped briefly during Monday's game, which was immediately postponed and will be made up at a later date, if necessary.
While on the bench in the first period, Peverley appears to have gone into cardiac arrest.
The Stars players reacted properly by getting out of the way, calling for the referees to stop the game so that EMTs could quickly cross the ice and provide whatever assistance was possible.
After Peverley was rushed from the bench, the medical staff started chest compressions and then a defibrillator was used, per Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News.
These devices have become ubiquitous over the past decade and can restart the heart quickly and easily. Cowlishaw reports that Peverley's first questions upon regaining consciousness were how much time was left and if he could return to the game.
Peverley had just returned to the Stars after an episode of atrial fibrillation, a heart condition characterized by a rapid and irregular heartbeat.
According to the Associated Press (via ESPN), Peverley had an episode last week where he felt his heart flutter before a flight. He was checked by doctors and had been cleared to return, playing in two games before his collapse.
Peverley's condition had been discovered during preseason physicals. An unusual EKG led to more tests, leading to Peverley undergoing a cardiac procedure called ablation, where part of the heart is damaged to stop the unusual and potentially dangerous arrhythmia. This common procedure does not preclude return to play and has a very short recovery time.
The current plan, according to Dimeff, is for Peverley to go back to the Cleveland Clinic in Toronto for further treatment on his atrial fibrillation, an ailment affecting the upper chambers of the heart that affects one in every 200 people younger than 60. Dimeff believes Peverley may have played through the genetic heart disorder in the Stanley Cup Final last summer, and then showed up to Dallas camp with it after being traded with Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins.
The next process is to do a definitive procedure which is usually effective, said Dimeff. He said Peverley and his doctors made the decision to try and control the atrial fibrillation with medication and treatment during the season before having surgery in the off-season, which remains the plan. "It's a very minor cardiac abnormality," said Dimeff.
Doctors were unable to determine if Peverley would be able to continue his NHL career.