Jay Bouwmeester, St. Louis Blues defenseman, is still in hospital and undergoing tests a day after suffering from a cardiac event and collapsing on the bench during a game in Anaheim.
Blues General manager Doug Armstrong said Bouwmeester was unresponsive after he collapsed on the bench Tuesday night. Rescuers used a defibrillator and the 36-year-old immediately regained consciousness. He was eventually taken to a hospital in Orange.
Armstrong said in a news conference, “He is doing very well and is currently undergoing a battery of tests. Things are looking very positive.”
Bouwmeester collapsed with just 7:50 minutes left in the first period. His teammates Alex Pietrangelo and Vince Dunn immediately called for help. The emergency medical team rushed to the Blues bench. Bouwmeester was then taken out on a stretcher as players stood in shock on the ice, postponing the game for some time.
Pietrangelo said he visited Bouwmeester and the rest of his teammates got to a chance to see him through FaceTime. His teammates stayed overnight in Southern California and then took a chartered flight to Las Vegas to play against the Golden Knights.
“It was important for us to see him. It made everyone feel a lot better that he was in good spirits,” Pietrangelo said.
The National Hockey League (NHL) has had standards in place to deal with potentially life-threatening cardiac problems during the play, which include a team physician within 50 feet of the bench, an orthopedic surgeon, and two other doctors nearby.
Bouwmeester is playing his 17th NHL season. He has always been in great fitness and conditioning.
The Canadian ice hockey player helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup last season. In 2014, he won an Olympic gold medal with Canada.
“His [Bouwmeester] training and the way he takes care of himself, it crystallizes how things can quickly change,” said Armstrong. “It is a testament to the NHL and teams to have everyone positioned when something like this takes place.”