Peverley ‘making progress’ in return to NHL


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.”


Stars sign ’13 first-rounder Dickinson


Just a few days after losing the Memorial Cup final, OHL Guelph playmaker Jason Dickinson has signed his entry-level deal with the Dallas Stars.

Dickinson, 18, was taken in the first round (29th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, one of Dallas’ two first-round selections last year — the other was Valeri Nichushkin, taken at No. 10.

Dickinson led Guelph in assists this year, with 52, and had 24 points in 20 playoff games. It remains to be seen where he’ll play next year; Dallas could use some depth down the middle given the uncertainty surrounding the future of Rich Peverley, but does have another first rounder, Radek Faksa (13th overall, 2012) in the mix as well.


Blue Jackets defeat Stars, clinch playoff berth


For only the second time in their franchise history, the Columbus Blue Jackets are going back to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Blue Jackets clinched their spot in the post-season with a 3-1 win over the host Dallas Stars on Wednesday. This game was a makeup for the March 10 meeting between the two teams, which was postponed after Dallas forward Rich Peverley collapsed due to a cardiac event.

Columbus was leading that game 1-0 on a goal from Nathan Horton early in the first period, when Peverley collapsed and was eventually taken to hospital.

Horton did not play Wednesday, however he was still credited with the opening goal, which the league has now given to him at the 0:00 mark of this game.

The Blue Jackets took a three-goal lead in the first period – they only needed to score twice in order for that to happen – before holding on to for the win and two points.

Not that the Stars, in a playoff race of their own in the Western Conference, didn’t try to pull out all the stops in the third period to try and at least get a single point.

As per Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News, Stars head coach Lindy Ruff pulled Tim Thomas from the net on a power play just before the midway point of the third period. The bold move did result in a goal from Trevor Daley, but that was all the Stars would get.

Horton won’t play tonight vs. Dallas, but already scored the opening goal


After getting hurt in last night’s 4-3 OT win over Phoenix, Columbus forward Nathan Horton didn’t travel to Dallas for tonight’s game against the Stars.

Which makes for a pretty unique story.

Tonight’s game is a makeup for the postponed Mar. 10 contest between the Jackets and Stars — called off following Rich Peverley’s collapse due to a cardiac event — and the game will start 1-0 in Columbus’ favor…thanks to the goal Horton scored early in the first period.

So, in short, Horton scored in a game he didn’t play.

More on the details, from the Dallas Morning News:

[Horton] will be credited with a goal at the 0:00 mark of the make-up game. In addition, Matt Calvert and James Wisniewski get assists. All other statistics will be expunged. [Tim] Thomas will not be charged with a goal against, and there will be no record of minutes played or shots on goal.

The Jackets need just two more points to clinch the second-ever playoff berth in franchise history, and can get those points tonight — but it won’t be easy without Horton. He returned from a four-game absence on Tuesday and made an immediate impact, playing on the top line with Boone Jenner and Ryan Johansen while assisting on Jenner’s game-opening tally.

Nathan Horton leaves with lower-body injury, likely to ‘make’ history Wednesday


Nathan Horton is probably more interested in helping the Columbus Blue Jackets make the playoffs than he is making some obscure NHL history, yet it appears that he’s in a position to become the answer to an odd sports trivia question.

Horton, 28, re-aggravated a lower-body injury in the Blue Jackets’ big game against the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday and won’t return. The potentially history-making part is that this issue may force Horton to miss Wednesday’s contest against the Dallas Stars – the contest that was rescheduled because of Rich Peverley’s health issues – which means he would “score a goal” in a game that he didn’t even suit up for.

The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline explains this situation as well:

Granted, Horton may very well play on Wednesday, but some might hope that he doesn’t so this odd little stat would be preserved.