DALLAS - Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley says he is working hard to return to the NHL ice after suffering a heart attack during a game three months ago.
"If I can play, great; if I can't, then I'll deal with that at that time," he told The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/1qyWmMh) in a telephone interview from his home in Guelph, Ontario.
Peverley had been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat before the season and had a procedure to address the problem. In the 62nd game he played last season, though, he collapsed on the bench when his heart stopped. Team medical personnel quickly moved him off the bench and revived him, he was discharged from the hospital two days later. On March 1, he underwent cardiac ablation surgery and has been recovering since.
An important part of his rehabilitation, he said, has been to increase his workout intensity, and with it his heart rate.
"I've been able to do more and use my upper body, so I definitely feel like I'm making progress. But it's just the start. I have a long way to go," he said.
The NHL revealed Wednesday that the 31-year-old hockey journeyman will present the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas next week. The award goes to the player "who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey." It is named after the former the one-time centre for the Minnesota North Stars, the Dallas Stars' predecessor, who collapsed on the ice during a game and died of a brain injury in 1968.
Peverley said he will return to Dallas sometime this summer for follow-up testing by the Stars.
The Stars are being patient with Peverley's recovery, general manager Jim Nill said.
"I would say he's being monitored over the next eight weeks just to see where things go and then kind of sit down with the doctors and kind of consult moving forward," he said.
Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com
Eric Semborski landed himself the opportunity of a lifetime when he strapped on the pads as an emergency backup for the Blackhawks, and now Topps has commemorated the moment with a Semborski trading card.
Eric Semborski’s dream came true when he stepped on the ice as an NHL goaltender, albeit an emergency backup, on Dec. 3, and now he’s got an incredible piece of memorabilia to show for it.
Just days after the 23-year-old made his rookie debut, trading card company Topps has unveiled the official Eric Semborski rookie card. That’s right: the 23-year-old has his very own trading card. The card is part of Topps’ NOW series, which features milestone or memorable moments and are made available shortly after the achievement.
Semborski’s stint as the Blackhawks emergency goaltender came due to regular starting netminder Corey Crawford was sent to hospital to undergo an appendectomy. The Blackhawks were scrambling to find a replacement for Crawford, and a backup for Scott Darling, when they started asking around to find an emergency amateur netminder to fill in.
Semborski, a former goaltender at Temple University, was working with children at the Flyers’ practice facility when he was called to sign on for emergency duty. Hilariously, Semborski wore a Blackhawks No. 50 jersey — which most will recognize as Crawford’s number — when he took the ice for warmup. Of the chance to stop NHL shots in warmup, Semborski said it was the best moment of his life.
Possibly the only thing that could have made the moment better was if Semborski actually got into the game and, as it turns out, that was very nearly the case. Post-game, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said that had the Flyers scored on the empty net to stretch their lead in the Saturday afternoon contest, he would have thrown Semborski into the net for the final minute of the outing.
As for the card, there’s no chance it will be worth anything near what a Connor McDavid rookie card will be worth in a decade, but it’s certainly a nice piece of merchandise for the one-day NHL netminder.
The NHL could be looking at a $2 million rise in the salary cap for next season, but early projections should be taken with a grain of salt. In December 2015, a potential rise of $3 million was projected. The upper limit increased by only $1.6 million.
It’s still far too soon to tell, but early estimations have it looking like the salary cap could jump up as much as $2 million ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.
Following the NHL’s Board of Governors meetings on Thursday, commissioner Gary Bettman was asked about what the league sees as a potential cap for the upcoming campaign, which, among other things, will see the introduction of the league’s 31st franchise in the Vegas Golden Knights.
Bettman didn’t give an exact figure as to what the cap will look like, but he said there’s the potential for the upper limit to move by roughly $2 million.
"There's always a range, but it's something we're going to have to look at very carefully in terms of how may be best to approach it," Bettman said, according to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen. "The cap could range from where it is now to a couple or so million up, but we're going to all have to focus on what makes most sense going forward.”
Any increase in the cap would be good news for the players, especially pending unrestricted free agents looking to land long-term, big-money deals. St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Ben Bishop are two of the biggest names currently slated to hit the open market come July 2017.
Of course, there’s a chance the cap stays flat, which Bettman also indicated, but said he’d prefer to speak with the NHLPA about a possible flat cap before answering questions about it.
Before any GMs with tight cap situations or fans who’re praying their respective teams get some cap breathing room go celebrating, it’s worth noting that early projections for the 2016-17 salary cap saw the upper limit increasing by close to $3 million. That would have seen the cap rise from $71.4 million to $74.5 million, and anyone paying close attention to the financials of the league’s teams is aware that rise in the upper limit didn’t quite come to fruition.
Instead, the cap for the current campaign is $71.4 million, and the rise is mostly thanks to the NHLPA using their five-percent “escalator clause.” Had the players not used the clause, there was some concern the cap could have actually dipped from the past season to the current campaign. Some projections had the cap possibly falling below $70 million for 2016-17.
A rise of $2 million would be only slightly more than the $1.6 million increase from 2015-16 to 2016-17, and it would be one of the smallest increases since the salary cap was introduced in 2005-06. From 2008-09 to 2009-10, the cap rose by only $100,000 and there was no rise in the cap from 2011-12 to 2013-14, with teams allowed to spend to a $60-million limit during the 2012-13 lockout-shortened campaign.
Philip Larsen got knocked unconscious, the Canucks retailiated without knowing what happened, and they could have hurt their teammate even worse in the process.
The incident was horrific. We can all agree on that.
Tuesday night in New Jersey, Vancouver Canucks blueliner Philip Larsen skated behind his net to retrieve a puck. He had no idea Devils left winger Taylor Hall was pursuing the same puck. They collided heavily. Larsen bashed his head on the ice and was knocked out cold.
It was a scary scene, undoubtedly, one that understandably evoked a ton of emotion from Larsen's teammates. It was hardly a surprise to see a flurry of Vancouver players swarm Hall and make him fight.
It was a shame, however, for multiple reasons. First off, the hit wasn't dirty. It wasn't even a deliberate bodycheck. Hall leaned back on his skates to slow his momentum and held out his arms as if protecting himself from imminent impact. It was more of a crash than a bonecrushing hit. We can debate whether Larsen's head was the principal point of contact – I don't believe it was at all – but it's irrelevant when assessing Hall's guilt. There was no intent there. He won't be disciplined by the NHL for an accident.
And yet, thanks to the sport's culture of immediate and forceful vengeance, Hall had to fight anyway. In the spur of the moment, in the heat of elite competition, players are simply too jacked up to take a breath and assess the situation. They see a comrade fall and, in mere milliseconds, seek and destroy whoever caused the harm.
“You always have a problem with a hit when one of your guys gets hit hard," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins told the Vancouver Province's Jason Botchford after the the game. "It doesn’t matter if it’s a clean hit. You have a problem when a guy gets hit that hard. I think all coaches would.”
The ironic thing about this tough-guy mentality is that it could end up pushing one of the toughest things about hockey out of the game: good, clean hits. If the swarm mentality goes on much longer, the only guys willing to lay opponents out with big hits will be those ready and willing to drop the gloves right afterward. Sooner or later players might decide it's not worth sitting five minutes and/or risking injury just to put a lick on a guy. And, in Hall's case, he wasn't even trying to drill Larsen.
Will we ever stop seeing players attacked after clean hits? I doubt it. The revenge assault is a crime of passion, a snap decision. But maybe, just maybe, the Canucks and players all over the world can learn a bit from what happened right after Larsen got hit. Watch:
The first instinct, sadly, is not to help Larsen, but to destroy Hall. Center Michael Chaput immediately starts a fight. That causes a pileup of players from both teams – all around the unconscious Larsen. It's downright disturbing to see him getting kicked in the head by his own teammates’ skates. Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom tries to box out Larsen and keep him safe. Markus Granlund tries as well but has to step over and onto Larsen in the process. It’s a miracle Larsen wasn’t cut. None of that would've happened had Chaput thought of Larsen first.
The ugly scene is a reminder that, right after a teammate takes a massive hit, the first priority should be to protect him. The best way to do that isn't to attack his attacker. It's to attend to the teammate first. There's plenty of time to review what happened and take down the perpetrator's number for later in the game. That's what jumbo-tron replays are for. And, in cases like Hall's, the violence would be averted altogether if players watched the replay and realized it was an accident.
Sadly, the idea is a pipe dream, and I don’t expect players to learn from Larsen's fate anytime soon. But we can always hope.
There’s still no word as to what exactly caused Coyotes AHL captain Craig Cunningham to collapse on ice, but the 26-year-old was in contact with teammates and cracking jokes earlier this week.
More than two weeks after collapsing on the ice ahead of an AHL game between the Coyotes and Jets AHL affiliates, news has come that Craig Cunningham is starting to get back to his old self.
According to Tucson’s KVOA, Cunningham spoke with two teammates, Brandon Burlon and Christian Fisher, via FaceTime earlier this week, and both said that things are starting to look up for the 26-year-old Cunningham.
Fisher added that it was nice to see Cunningham, the captain of the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate Tucson Roadrunners, smiling again. But he wasn’t just smiling, he was also trying to have a good time with his teammates while hinting that he wants to get back on the ice.
“He was cracking jokes just as if he were here the next day," Fisher told KVOA. "It was pretty funny. He said he wanted us to come pick him up and take him to the rink. He was joking around. Stuff like that.”
The mystery still remains as to what caused Cunningham’s collapse, however. It came just moments before the game was set to start and resulted in medical staff in the building cutting away his equipment in order to attend to him. Cunningham ended up leaving the ice on a stretcher, was transported to hospital and he remained in critical but stable condition for much of the past two weeks.
Still, though, Burlon and Fisher said that there’s no “definitive answer” as to what caused Cunningham’s medical emergency. That’s more than all right with both players, too, so long as Cunningham’s health is starting to look up.
"What we do know is that he is doing well and we are moving forward here," Fisher told KVOA. "Hopefully, he will start the road to recovery now.”
Cunningham has suited up for 319 AHL games over the course of his career, netting 101 goals and 203 points, as well as scoring an additional three goals and eight points in 63 NHL games. He was drafted 97th overall by the Bruins in 2010, but was picked up by Arizona off waivers from Boston during the 2014-15 season.