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Vulgar Opinons: Rich Peverley And Toughness

03/11/14

In a terrifying incident, the likes of which the league hasn’t seen since Ondrej Pavelec’s collapse mid-game a few years ago, or perhaps even the Zednik incident of 2009, Rich Peverley of the Dallas Stars collapsed on the bench during the Stars game with the Blue Jackets Monday night.  Obviously BBG, along with the rest of the hockey world, wishes the best for Peverley including a swift recovery, a return to hockey, an ability to exit on his own terms, and future wellness.

However, I have a bit of a problem with Peverley being hailed as some kind of tough guy, particularly the reactions to this quote:

“The first thing (Peverley) asked me was how much time was left in the first period,” Ruff said.

He’s being hailed as the best of macho hockey culture and a conquering masculine hero, and while reports from the Stars indicate that the condition isn’t serious, all I can think about is Peverley putting himself at risk (and I tend to think all heart conditions are of some seriousness) with a wife and kids at home.

Without a medical background I don’t have a huge amount of commentary on Peverley’s situation specifically, but I do find that I have far more respect for someone who hangs up the skates willingly than for someone who wants to put themselves at risk by continuing to play, especially when their responsibilities extend beyond themselves.

That is the benefit of things like Twitter and being able to find a wealth of information about our favorite players.  We start to see them as human beings, and things like concussions and heart conditions are less team-killers, and more real ailments that these men and women and their families have to deal with.  That drives a willingness to mete out some of the uglier aspects of hockey (via supplemental discipline) and I think we all end up better for it.

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