Center Rich Peverley of the Dallas Stars says he eventually wants to return to the NHL when his heart condition has cleared up.

Peverley collapsed on the players’ bench in the first period during a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 10, and the contest was called off while medical staff rushed to his aid. The player was then rushed to hospital and later underwent a hear procedure at the Cleveland Clinic to rectify an irregular heartbeat.

Peverley says he feels fine at the moment and his heartbeat is back to normal. He’s under the supervision of doctors and they’ve allowed him to start working out as they monitor his heart rate.

He took to the ice on March 27 for the first time since the incident for a leisurely skate. He said his ultimate goal is to return to the Stars, but he’s not sure when that will be. One thing’s for certain though, it won’t be this season.

Peverley managed to play in 62 games this season and had seven goals and 23 assists for 30 points. Doctors have told the 31-year-old native of Guelph, Ontario that it will likely take about three months to recover from the procedure.

It was the second operation in the past few months for Peverley as he also underwent procedure before the regular season started and it kept him out of the lineup for the Stars preseason games.

He also missed the early part of the season. He was scheduled to have another operation at the end of the 2013-14 campaign, but that was moved forward after he collapsed during the game.

Dr. Robert J. Dimeff of the Stars said Peverley can slowly increase his level of physical activity as he’s being monitored regularly to make sure there aren’t any problems.

Dimeff added that Peverley is taking blood thinners and other medication to keep his heart rate slow. He should be able to come off of the blood thinners in about a month, and in three months time he should be able to return to his normal and full rate of physical activity.

Peverley said he has spoken to Jiri Fischer, a former defenseman with the Detroit Red Wings who suffered a similar incident back in December of 2005. Fischer then retired from the game shortly after.

Peverley said he feels a lot better after talking with Fischer and other people who have the same heart condition that he has. Fischer told Peverley not to rush into making any decisions about his future and that suits him just fine.

Peverley admitted that he and his family have talked about his future and realize that they just have to take things day by day.

He then remarked, “I love to play hockey. I'm passionate about the sport and I want to be around it, so I want to come and I want to see the guys every day at the rink and maybe go on the ice. That's just what I love to do.”


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