The date was March 10th, 2014. To many, it seemed like a normal Monday. You went to work. You went to school. You went about your daily routine. Things seemed normal. The Jackets were in Dallas, meaning they had a slightly later start. You were then in position to cheer CBJ on to a key victory.
The game started well. The boys were flying, pushing the play. They even got an early goal from Nathan Horton. This had the makings of being a very good night. Then, in a flash, that all changed.
At first, there was lots of commotion. Players and coaches were scurrying around in a very unusual way. At home, you really couldn't make out what all was happening. Then, over the course of the next few minutes, we bore witness to one of the scariest things that anyone could see anywhere. A player, part of the NHL family, collapsed on the bench.
You could just see it in the faces of those close to the situation. The look of shock was prevalent. How else do you react to something out of the blue like this? There is only one thing you can think about in that moment. That being the health and welfare of Rich Peverley. It was in that moment that the single most important thing came to the forefront. That thing, is the power of family.
It was no longer about the game. It was about the welfare of a member of the NHL family. And at all levels, the family stepped up in a big way, from the medical staff on ice level, to the players/coaches from both the Jackets and Stars, to the guys broadcasting the game keeping everyone at home updated on what was going on. When news of this situation spread, fans and other teams made it a point to show their support as well. This was a powerful reminder of how close knit the hockey community is. There may be different color jerseys during games. But in the end, we are all on one team. That was on full display last night.
This was also a reminder that we cannot take anything for granted. Days may seem like normal days. It may be the same routine. But it can change at any moment, with or without notice. The one constant though is the family that you are a part of. We are all in this together, no matter what part you play. Just take a moment today to reflect on what all we have as hockey fans. We have a lot to be thankful for. Good health is definitely something to be thankful for.
Take a moment and say a prayer for Peverley today. We are praying for full recovery from this. We are also praying for his family and close friends (apparently, his wife was at the game). May peace overflow in abundance to all those who were directly involved. May he come back stronger than before.