Rich Peverley knows he wants to play hockey again.
Whether his health will allow him to, though, remains less certain.
“It’s a process, and there are a lot of steps,” Peverley said, per the Dallas Morning-News. “I’m trying to take the steps one at a time and just see what happens. If I can play, that will be great.
“If I can’t, then I’ll deal with that at that time.”
Peverley hasn’t played since collapsing due to a heart issue on Mar. 10. The 31-year-old was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat prior to last season — he had a procedure to fix the issue and was taking medication to control it — and had appeared in 62 contests before his heart stopped during a game against Columbus. Peverley was revived, rushed to the hospital and underwent ablation surgery nine days later, and has slowly been trying to do more activity to gauge how his body responds.
“I’ve been able to do more and use my upper body, so I definitely feel like I’m making progress,” he explained. “But it’s just the start. I have a long way to go.”
Though he’s uncertain about a return to the NHL, Peverley will be back in the mix next week when he presents the Bill Masterton Trophy at the league’s annual awards show in Las Vegas. Jaromir Jagr, Manny Malhotra and Dominic Moore are this year’s nominees for the award, given annually to ” the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Mike Halford, NBC's Pro Hockey Talk