Photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP
St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester was stretchered out of the Honda Center in Anaheim Tuesday night after collapsing on the bench during a game-break in the first period of the Blues’ matchup with the Anaheim Ducks. The game was stopped immediately and eventually postponed.
Bouwmeester appeared to be grabbing for a drink of water when he began to slowly fall. Emergency medical personnel rushed to the Blues bench.
Jay Bouwmeester collapses on the Blues bench. Game has been delayed pic.twitter.com/wOJkAFANCT
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) February 12, 2020
Teammates Vince Dunn and Alex Pietrangelo immediately called for medical help after Bouwmeester slumped over with 7:50 left in the first period.
According to AP reports, Bouwmeester appeared to be awake and alert as he was being transported out of the arena to a hospital. St. Louis’ radio announcer Chris Kerber said during an interview with the team’s flagship station that a defibrillator was used.
The teams agreed not to continue the game Tuesday, instead resuming it at another date.
Due to the medical emergency involving Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, tonight’s game has been postponed and will be made up at a later date. #stlblues
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) February 12, 2020
According to the Dallas Star-Tribune, Bouwmeester’s father was at the game as part of the team’s annual Dads Trip. He went with his son to the hospital while teammates and their fathers remained at the arena awaiting updates.
Here’s a picture tonight from the @AP after Jay Bouwmeester was taken to an ambulance after collapsing on the bench. A Ducks player coming over to comfort the #STLBlues pic.twitter.com/raTPmLDD96
— Corey Miller (@corey_miller5) February 12, 2020
Players from both teams met for hugs and well-wishes after changing out of their gear. The game will be made up at a later date.
Blues broadcaster Darren Pang provided a first-hand account of the scene near the Blues locker room, just prior to the game being officially postponed.
Darren Pang: “I haven’t heard an official word. … The coaching staff, they’ve all walked by saying ‘We’re not going back on the ice to play this game.'” #stlblues pic.twitter.com/ZbY01YZUPW
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) February 12, 2020
The Blues were supposed to fly to Las Vegas, where they are scheduled to play on Thursday, but they will remain in Southern California until they learn more about Bouwmeester’s status.
St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong released the following statement regarding Bouwmeester at 12:30 am ET:
“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.”
According to the AP, the last player to collapse on an NHL bench was Dallas forward Rich Peverley in 2014. Peverley had an irregular heartbeat, and the quick response of emergency officials made sure he was OK.
The NHL has pages of emergency medical standards that spell out in specific detail that at least two doctors must be in attendance for every game and one must be within 50 feet of the bench. A defibrillator, which was used when Detroit’s Jiri Fischer collapsed in 2005, must be available, along with a triage room and ambulances.
Capitals winger T.J. Oshie, a former teammate of Jay Bouwmeester in St. Louis, sent out his prayers for Jay via social media Tuesday night.
Praying for Bo! https://t.co/yv9cROsiI5
— TJ Oshie (@TJOshie77) February 12, 2020
This is a developing story. We will update as soon as more information is available.