March 22, 2014

The Big Heart of Hockey

Recently, during a game between the Dallas Stars and the Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench. He just fell over only six minutes into the game. Thankfully, every team in the NHL has a protocol for emergency medical situations like this. Their crew sprang into action and rushed him to the hospital. The game stopped for quite a while as everyone waited for news. The entire stadium was quiet.

As soon as I heard, I turned to Twitter. The game had been postponed. Fans of opposing teams, the opposing teams themselves, members of the seemed as if everyone who loved the sport of hockey was praying for him, his family and his team. For the next few days, the hockey world worried about Peverley, and when we found out he would be okay, the collective sigh of relief was widespread and heartfelt.

I love hockey. Sure, it’s a rough game. There are fierce rivalries and harsh words uttered in the heat of the moment. Players beat each other bloody at times. (There’s a reason behind the fights, but that’s a whole other blog post.) But as much as we idolize the players, they are people, and when real life interferes with the game, the game is dismissed without a thought. It’s just a game. Rich Peverley is a person with infinitely more importance than a couple of points in the standings.

Here's an excellent article by Mike Heika about Peverley and hockey players in general that says this far more eloquently than I did.

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