Former Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley announced his retirement Friday, but he will be staying with the Stars in a player development role in the front office.
Peverley went into cardiac arrest on the Stars bench a little less than 18 months ago and never returned to play. He worked out with the team and with the Stars medical staff since that incident to try and return to the sport, but he told Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News that he couldn't get enough of a guarantee to return to play.
"It was working out, monitoring how I was doing, continuing to see doctors to exhaust every avenue and find out exactly if I could play," Peverley said of his rehab. "It’s a case that’s very complicated, and what I have learned is there is no 100 percent to medicine and, unfortunately, I can’t play anymore."
Peverley said he has had no further incidents since the frightening one of the Stars bench. He underwent an ablation to try and isolate the areas of his heart muscle that were causing him issues, and he was also implanted with a small device called an ICD, which monitors the heart rhythm and can automatically deliver a shock if the rhythm starts to degenerate.
He said he would have to have the ICD removed to gain clearance to play contact sports, something that he was reportedly studying earlier this summer, but it ultimately wasn't worth the risk.
"It’s the main deterrent to why I can’t play hockey, but for all other uses, I’ve had no issues," he said. "I’m able to work out on an almost daily basis, I’m able to play shinny hockey with my friends, I play in a soccer league now. I’m enjoying life and I have no worries about my health."
According to Heika, Peverley will work with the Stars amateur prospects in junior and college hockey based out of his home in Ontario. Over the last year and a half, he spent time helping out with the NHL players in Dallas as well as the AHL prospects in Cedar Park.
The new position will allow him to spend more time with his wife Nathalie, and young children Isabelle, Frederick and baby Elena, who was born Aug. 14.
Undrafted out of St. Lawrence University, Peverley finishes his NHL career 84 goals and 241 points in 442 games played between the Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins and Stars. He also has his name on the Stanley Cup as a member of the 2010-11 Bruins.
Here's the Stars official release:
Rich Peverley announced his retirement on Friday afternoon to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News. He will immediately begin his first season as Player Development Coordinator for the Dallas Stars.
"We want to congratulate Rich and his family on his great playing career and look forward to the contributions he'll make in his new role," said Stars General Manager Jim Nill.
Peverley played nine seasons in the National Hockey League, spending time with Nashville, Atlanta, Boston and Dallas. He finished his career having tallied 241 points (84-157=241), including 20 game-winning goals, in 442 regular-season contests. A member of the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, Peverley accumulated 21 points (9-12=21) in 59 postseason contests with two trips to the Stanley Cup Final, both with Boston.
In 62 games played with the Stars in 2013-14, he posted 30 points (7-23=30) and won 60.1% of his faceoffs.
The 6-foot, 195-pound native of Kingston, Ont. went undrafted after splaying four seasons of college hockey with St. Lawrence (ECAC). Peverley skated in 138 games for the Saints, registering 117 points (44-73=117).
In his new role with the team, Peverley will monitor the development of drafted Dallas Stars prospects, with an emphasis on the amateur level.