Rich Peverley has played his final game in the NHL, citing health concerns — but he’s not leaving hockey.
Instead, the 33-year-old former centre is joining the Stars organization in a player development capacity.
Peverley missed the entire 2014-15 season after he suffered a cardiac incident and collapsed on the Stars bench during a March 2014 game.
“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 told The Dallas Morning News‘ Mike Heika, referring to his rehab. “It’s a case that’s very complicated, and what I have learned is there is no 100 per cent to medicine and, unfortunately, I can’t play anymore.”
Throughout his 18 months of rehabilitation, Peverley embraced the chance to help the team’s development, consulting with coaching staff and aiding in the development of players with the AHL affiliate Texas Stars — the perfect transition for him to move into an official development role with the club.
“I’ve kind of been in a small development role in Cedar Park, and I really enjoyed that,” Peverley said. “I also was able to be almost an assistant coach as the eye in the sky [during NHL games], and that was something I was very proud of and I took very seriously. And that helped me get through those months and days when I really wanted to play.”
According to Heika, Peverley will work from his Ontario home and will travel to help amateur prospects in college and junior hockey.
In 442 games, Peverley registered 84 goals and 241 points split between the Predators, Thrashers, Bruins and Stars. He was also part of the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup-winning team.
“I haven’t had any issues since my incident,” he said of his health. “I can continue to enjoy my life, and I get a second chance at life, and I’m going to try to take advantage of that.”