St. Louis Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester is doing “very well” one day after collapsing on the team bench during a road game against the Anaheim Ducks.
Armstrong said Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac event during in the first period. He said Bouwmeester lost consciousness and that a defibrillator was used to “revive him.”
The contest was postponed after the incident. Bouwmeester was transported to UC Irvine Medical Center in nearby Orange.
“Jay Bouwmeester is doing very well at the UC Irvine Medical Center,” Armstrong said during a press conference Wednesday at a hotel in Las Vegas after the team’s arrival for Thursday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights. “Jay is currently undergoing a battery of tests to determine the how and why of what happened last night, but things are looking very positive.”
The team canceled its scheduled flight to Las Vegas and spent Tuesday night in Orange County.
Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo went to the hospital after the postponement and was encouraged.
“It was important for me to see him,” Pietrangelo said during the press conference in Las Vegas. “And for everyone else to see him, so we FaceTimed. ‘Bouw’ had his opportunity to see everybody and everybody sent him their wishes. It made everybody feel a lot better to know he was in good hands.
“He was in good spirits, so I think it made us all feel a little better.”
The incident occurred with the score tied 1-1 with 7:50 remaining in the first period.
During a break in the game action, Bouwmeester was on the St. Louis bench when he slumped down and collapsed to the ground. Blues players rushed to get medical personnel from both teams, with paramedics also on hand to help.
Bouwmeester appeared to have an uneventful shift on the ice with little to no contact after the midway point of the first period. He then went to the bench, where his heart issue occurred during a stoppage in play.
Bouwmeester’s collapse stunned the Blues, and Pietrangelo struggled to explain his feelings as he watched the situation unfold.
“It’s hard to explain,” Pietrangelo said. “It happened so fast. It felt like an eternity for us. We just reacted as fast as we could. … It was impressive to see (the doctors and EMTs) go into action.”
Armstrong said the game with Anaheim will be made up at a later date. He said the NHL may have to move a few games around to make it work for both teams.
Bouwmeester, 36, is in his 17th NHL season, the past 7 1/2 of which have been with St. Louis. He helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup last year.
In a 1,241-game career that has included stints with the Florida Panthers (2002-09) and the Calgary Flames (2009-13), Bouwmeester has 88 goals and 336 assists. He appeared in all 82 games for seven consecutive seasons, from 2005-12.
This season, Bouwmeester has one goal and eight assists in 57 games. His average of 21 minutes, 17 seconds of ice time per game ranks third on the Blues.
The Panthers made the Edmonton, Alberta, native the third overall pick in the 2002 draft.
Armstrong confirmed the Blues will play Thursday night’s game in Las Vegas.
–Field Level Media