One day after Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley collapsed during a game, the hockey community spoke up about the incident and were relieved that Peverley is in stable condition.
"Thank God he's OK," Stars forward Tyler Seguin said as his club prepared to face the St. Louis Blues Tuesday night. "Hockey's just a game at that point. It really puts things in perspective."
The incident occurred with 13:37 remaining in the first period of Monday's contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Peverley was transported to hospital after being attended to for several minutes, and the Stars later issued a statement saying that he was conscious and his condition was not life-threatening.
"He's doing good. He's stable, he's in good spirits," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said on Tuesday. "A few guys said he's interacted and said he's got his sense of humour back and ready. He's in good medical care and the story we get to tell is a real good one. That's the part I like."
On Tuesday, Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a statement that Peverley is in stable condition and has been communicating with teammates and friends since he was admitted into hospital.
Nill said doctors are focused on finding a long-term solution to Peverley's irregular heartbeat. The condition was diagnosed in training camp, and he underwent a procedure that sidelined him for the preseason and the season opener.
"It's a big relief. We were pretty scared there. Once we found out that he was good and stable, it was a very big relief," Stars captain Jamie Benn said. "He's in good hands. It's something you never want to see. Obviously Rich is a big part of this team. We're obviously a family in here and we never want to see someone go down like that."
The Stars' game against the Blue Jackets was postponed after Peverley went down.
"It's scary when you see something like that happen," Senators captain Jason Spezza said. "It's very scary when you see a guy collapse like that; I'm sure those guys that were involved in the incident are pretty shaken up and everyone wishes him the best and hopefully he recovers well.
"When you see things like that happen, it puts things into perspective for everybody and their families."
Senators forward Clarke MacArthur added "When something like that happens it's like time stands still. I was just waiting by the TV hoping to hear the best news possible. Thank God for the trainers and the guys who took care of him. He's got a wife and a family and it's a scary situation."
Blue Jackets centre Brandon Dubinsky said Tuesday that he and his teammates are coming to grips with what they witnessed.
"Obviously being part of a traumatic incident like that is never easy, but hopefully the fact he is doing well will allow us to get ready for an important game," Dubinsky said.
Blue Jackets forward Nathan Horton added: "I was sick to my stomach wondering if he's OK."
The situation on the bench brought back memories of when Detroit defenceman Jiri Fischer went into cardiac arrest during a game against the Nashville Predators on Nov. 21, 2005. Fischer, now the Red Wings' director of player development, subsequently retired due to heart problems.
"It affects everybody," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "I know how rattled our guys were. It's way different than hockey and obviously way more important than hockey."
Senators head coach Paul MacLean, who was an assistant coach in Detroit when Fischer's emergency happened, added, "When I got home last night I got to see it again on the news and it's a terrible thing to have happened; having been there for one previous event, it's scary. It's really scary to see something like that happen. You don't expect that from professional athletes with the highest fitness level. It gives you a bad feeling in your stomach."
Meanwhile in Montreal, Canadiens forward Brandon Prust said Peverley has the support of the entire NHL.
"I think everyone in the league is thinking about him and praying for him," Prust said. "It's always really sad to see, it kind of breaks your heart."