Tuesday’s game between the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues has been postponed after defenceman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the team bench as the result of a cardiac episode.
The Blues blueliner was taken from the bench on a stretcher in the first period of the contest. Play was halted with 7:50 remaining in the opening frame. Teammates called over for help when they saw Bouwmeester go down.
According to reports from local media, Bouwmeester was alert and responsive on his way to the hospital. A defibrillator was in the vicinity, but it is not known what led to the collapse or what the medical assessment is as of yet.
The Blues and Ducks both announced that the game would be postponed and made up at a later date, which is really the only right move at this point. Some things are bigger than hockey.
Bouwmeester is in the 17th season of his NHL career. The 36-year-old has 88 goals and 336 assists in 1,240 games for the Blues, Calgary Flames, and Florida Panthers. The Edmonton native was drafted third overall by the Panthers in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
From 2004 to 2014, Bouwmeester skated in 737 consecutive games – the longest streak by a defenceman in league history. He won a Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues last season.
Prior to his collapse, Bouwmeester had skated for about five and a half minutes of ice time. According to stats sheets from the game, his last shift was 1:20.
According to Blues general manager and president of hockey operations Doug Armstrong, there will be an update on Bouwmeester’s condition on Wednesday.
“With 7:50 remaining in the first period of our game tonight, Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac episode and collapsed on our bench after completing his shift,” read the statement from the Blues. “Thankfully, with the quick response of our medical trainers, Anaheim medical trainers and their team physicians, they were able to stabilize Jay. He was alert and moving all of his extremities as he was transported to UC Irvine Medical Center. Currently, Jay is conscious and alert as he undergoes further testing by Anaheim’s physicians. We will update Jay’s condition on Wednesday morning.”
As has been widely reported, the NHL has a series of medical standards at each game. At least two doctors must be in attendance, for instance. One must be within 50 feet of the players’ bench. A triage room, ambulances, and a defibrillator are also required.
We here at HockeyDraft.ca are keeping Jay Bouwmeester in our thoughts.
Photo credit: NHL.com