Anaheim: St Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the bench early in his team's game against the Ducks on Tuesday at Honda Center in Anaheim and was taken to a local hospital. The Ducks' TV broadcast cited Blues broadcaster Darren Pang as saying Bouwmeester was awake and alert after the medical emergency, which occurred 7 minutes 50 seconds left in the first period.
The game was postponed and will be made up at a later date. The score was 1-1 at the time.
Bouwmeester, 36, played a key role in the Blues’ first-ever Stanley Cup championship last spring.
He had played a lengthy shift on Tuesday that did not include anything extraordinary, such as a hit to the head or other noteworthy contact. At the end of his shift he went to the bench and topped over a few seconds later. His teammates quickly recognized he was in distress and shouted for medical personnel to attend to him. Players lifted the bench out of the way to give medical personnel easier access.
Medical personnel responded within a few seconds and tended to Bouwmeester before taking him off the ice and back to the team’s locker room
Doug Armstrong, the Blues’ general manager and president of hockey operations, issued a statement shortly after 9:30 p.m. that said Bouwmeester had experienced “a cardiac episode” that led to his collapse. He was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center.
“Currently Jay is conscious and alert as he undergoes further testing by Anaheim’s physicians,” Armstrong said. “We will update Jay’s condition on Wednesday morning.”
Bouwmeester had appeared in 57 games this season. He had one goal and nine points, in addition to 20 penalty minutes. He averaged 21 minutes and 34 seconds’ ice time per game.
When the Blues won a seven-game Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins last spring Bouwmeester was the first player to receive the Cup from team captain Alex Pietrangelo, a tribute to his veteran status and his long wait for that moment of glory. He had played 1,184 regular-season games for Florida, Calgary and St. Louis before he earned the right to lift the Cup as a champion.
The Blues’ trip to Anaheim included the players’ fathers. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Bouwmeester’s father, Dan, accompanied his son to the hospital.