In a game tied at one in Anaheim between the hometown Ducks and the St. Louis Blues, veteran defensemen Jay Bouwmeester collapsed with 7:50 left in the game’s first period.
Bouwmeester, 36-years-old, was on the Blues bench at the time of the incident which was immediately cleared by the coaches and the players who were on it to give paramedics access.
According to the St. Louis Blues, a medical emergency took place on the bench and just moments later, the Tuesday game was postponed. As seen by a fan on the bench, an automatic emergency defibrillator was used on Bouwmeester while the Ducks and the Blues made their way off the ice.
While the medical team oversaw operations, the Ducks broadcast team then confirmed that the game would be made up at a later date. As per a report from TSN Hockey Insider Frank Seravalli, the St. Louis Blues telecast said that Jay Bouwmeester was alert and responsive while being stretchered off the bench.
While en route to a local hospital, Darren Pang reported that a defibrillator was “close by” and the trainers of both teams were very quickly on the scene. Shortly after 11, once Jay Bouwmeester was settled in hospital, Alex Ferrario of 101 ESPN reported that the Edmonton native was joined by his dad.
Fortunately for the veteran, it happens to be the fathers trip week for the Blues and so his father Dan, amongst many others, joined the team for a two-game road trip on Monday. As well, Ferrario reported that the paramedics did have to use the paddles on him, though he was responsible before they took him to hospital.
With tests being run overnight to locate the source of Tuesday’s emergency, St. Louis Blues president and general manager Doug Armstrong released the following statement regarding the defensemen:
“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. 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.”
In an update on Wednesday afternoon at the Waldorf Astoria from general manager Doug Armstrong, he said that Bouwmeester is doing “very well” and is currently undergoing a battery of tests. While looking to determine why and how the cardiac episode originated, Armstrong concluded in Wednesday’s press conference that Bouwmeester’s prognosis is looking positive.
This was later re-iterated by TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie who also mentioned that an AED was used to revive him on the bench shortly after. While an agreement was later made to postpone, he also added that they’re still waiting to hear on a make-up date, but some other games may need to be moved around.
After undergoing numerous tests to reveal the cause of his cardiac episode, the St. Louis Blues announced on Friday morning that defensemen Jay Bouwmeester had undergone a successful Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) procedure. As cited by general manager Doug Armstrong, the cardiac procedure to normalize his heart rhythm was performed in Anaheim at UC Irvine Medical Center.
As per the release from Doug Armstrong, the procedure, which restores the heart’s normal rhythm, was performed by the cardiology team of the UCI Cardiology Department, headed by Chief Cardiologist Dr. Pranav M. Patel. Following that, Doug Armstrong stated that Bouwmeester was under the care of Dr. Patel while joining the surgeon was an expert team of UCI Electrophysiologists, including Dr. Michael Rochon-Duck and Dr. David Donaldson.
The press release put out from Doug Armstrong to update the condition of the Edmonton native concluded in saying that upon approval of release by the UC Irvine Cardiology Department, Bouwmeester would be flown back to St. Louis and monitored by Barnes Jewish Hospital and Washington University physicians. The St. Louis Blues also mentioned that an update would be provided on Bouwmeester’s status early on the following week.
That brings us forward to Tuesday where the St. Louis Blues announced prior to game time that the Canadian defensemen had been placed on long-term injury reserve just one week following his cardiac episode. As per GM Doug Armstrong, Jay Bouwmeester will take some time off to get accustomed to his new normal and will speak when he’s ready. Further to that extent, the left-handed shooter will make a public statement in the next seven to 10 days to address where he’s at.
When speaking with the team’s local media, Doug Armstrong said to reporters Tuesday night that he spoke with Jay Bouwmeester about his status on Monday in what he described as a good conversation. Additionally, the general manager stated that he wasn’t making any retirement announcement on Bouwmeester’s behalf despite the gathering on Tuesday. This comes after a statement from Bouwmeester which he released earlier on in the day where he stated in confidence he’s on the road to recovery after being attended to on Wednesday in Anaheim.
In a statement from the St. Louis defensemen, Jay Bouwmeester said about the care and support, “I would sincerely like to thank all of the trainers from both the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks, as well as all of the first responders, the Anaheim medical staff and the team at the UCI Medical Center for their quick actions on Feb. 11. Our family has felt the support of the entire National Hockey League family and the city of St. Louis during this time. We have all been greatly comforted by your genuine concern.”
Bouwmeester, 36-years-old, was closely monitored by a team of specialists until he was cleared to return to St. Louis. Speaking to the trek back home and where things are at with his care going forward, Jay Bouwmeester concluded his statement in saying, “On Sunday evening, I returned to St. Louis and I am on the road to recovery. My wife and daughters are forever grateful for everyone’s support and we will continue to have a positive outlook for our future.”
As for their meeting with the Ducks, the St. Louis Blues announced separately on Sunday that the postponed game will be made up next month when the two sides square off on Wednesday March 11th. As per Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register, this date was the only logical one since neither the teams nor the NHL wished to tack it onto the end of the season. In that case, it would force them to makeup the meeting on Monday April 6th. As Teaford states, the league insisted the Western Conference game had to be made up.