There is good news, as St. Louis Blues defenceman Jay Bouwmeester is “doing very well” following a terrifying cardiac episode Tuesday night.
The blueliner remains hospitalized in Anaheim and underwent tests Wednesday after collapsing on the bench during his team’s game against the Ducks Tuesday. Following the collapse, a defibrillator was used and Bouwmeester regained consciousness.
“He is doing very well and is currently undergoing a battery of tests. Things are looking very positive,” said general manager Doug Armstrong.
After Bouwmeester slumped over on the bench with 7:50 to go in the first period of Tuesday’s game, teammates Vince Dunn and Alex Pietrangelo called for help. Medical staff attended to him immediately and the defenceman was stretchered off the ice.
The game was postponed.
Pietrangelo visited Bouwmeester in the hospital Tuesday night, while the rest of the team saw him on FaceTime. The club remained in Anaheim, then chartered a flight to Vegas where they will face the Golden Knights Thursday.
The Bouwmeester situation has hit the league hard and has reminded all of us that hockey can be a family as much as a sport. We can draw together in trying times, regardless of petty rivalries. And we can be reminded of the preciousness and precariousness of life.
For Bouwmeester, fitness and conditioning has always been an enormous part of his life.
“His training and the way he takes care of himself, it crystallizes how things can quickly change. It is a testament to the NHL and teams to have everyone positioned when something like this takes place,” Armstrong said.
Other similar situations have occurred in the NHL. In Dallas, Rich Peverley suffered from an irregular heartbeat and collapsed on the bench in 2014. And in Detroit, Jiri Fischer had a comparable episode in 2005.
“The Peverley and Fischer incidents and now Bouwmeester reminded us all how important it is to have team doctors close to players’ benches and defibrillators easily accessible in short notice,” said Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland. “It has probably saved all their lives. Incredible job by league and team medical people.”
Here at HockeyDraft.ca, we continue to keep Jay Bouwmeester in our thoughts and express our wishes for a full recovery.
Photo credit: David Zalubowski/AP