“Currently, Jay is conscious and alert as he undergoes further testing by Anaheim’s physicians,” said Armstrong, who added that the Blues would provide further updates on Bouwmeester’s condition Wednesday.
The incident took place during a break in play, as Bouwmeester appeared to take a drink of water and then slumped forward. Teammates including Vince Dunn and Alex Pietrangelo began frantically signaling for assistance.
In the wake of the medical emergency, both teams went to their respective locker rooms, after which the game, which was tied 1-1, was postponed. Players subsequently changed out of their uniforms and reportedly exchanged hugs and well-wishes.
Bouwmeester’s father was reportedly in attendance at Anaheim’s Honda Center, as part of an annual road trip for players’ dads, this one planned for the game against the Ducks and a visit Thursday to the Vegas Golden Knights.
A 17-year NHL veteran after being the third pick in the 2002 draft, Bouwmeester has been with the Blues since coming over in a 2013 trade from the Calgary Flames. He helped St. Louis win its first Stanley Cup title last season, averaging 23:30 in ice time during the playoffs and tying for the team lead with a plus-9 mark in postseason plus-minus.
Bouwmeester had completed a shift comprising 1:20 of ice time just before his collapse, and he had spent a total of 5:34 on the ice to that point. He was skating in his 57th game of the season and the 1,241st of his career, not counting playoffs, the fourth-most among active NHL players.
After beginning his career with the Panthers, Bouwmeester embarked on one of the NHL’s longest ironman streaks. He played in 737 consecutive games, ninth-most all-time, between 2004 and 2014, by which point he had been traded to Calgary and then to St. Louis.
Before this season, the Blues signed Bouwmeester to a one-year, $3.25 million contract.
The most recent player to collapse on an NHL bench before Bouwmeester, according to the AP, was the Stars’ Rich Peverley in 2014. Peverley, who had been treated for an irregular heartbeat before the season, required the use of a defibrillator before being loaded in to an ambulance.
Bouwmeester’s episode Tuesday prompted an outpouring of messages of support from across the NHL, including a tweet in which Capitals forward T.J. Oshie said he was “praying” for his former Blues teammate.
My thoughts and prayers are with Jay Bouwmeester and his family. Hope he is okay, happy to hear he was alert and responsive. Best wishes.— Evander Kane (@evanderkane_9) February 12, 2020