Jay Bouwmeester alert after collapsing on bench, Blues-Ducks game postponed

Canada

ANAHEIM, CALIF.—St. Louis defenceman Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the bench during a break in play in the first period, prompting the Blues and Anaheim Ducks to postpone their game Tuesday night.

Bouwmeester appeared to be awake and alert as he was being transported out of the arena to hospital.

Teammates Vince Dunn and Alex Pietrangelo immediately called for medical help after Bouwmeester slumped over with 7:50 left in the first period. After a couple of minutes, Bouwmeester was taken out on a stretcher through a tunnel next to the Blues bench.

Bouwmeester appeared to be grabbing a drink of water when he began to slowly fall. Emergency medical personnel rushed to the bench.

Bouwmeester’s father was at the game as part of the team’s annual Dads Trip.

Ducks and Blues players gathered to see what was wrong before Bouwmeester was taken away. Both teams then went to their dressing rooms, and the game was called off a few minutes later tied 1-1.

Blues and Ducks players react while medical staff assist St. Louis defenceman Jay Bouwmeester, who collapsed at the Blues bench during the first period of Tuesday night’s game in Anaheim.

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.

The 36-year-old Bouwmeester is in his 17th NHL season and has been known for his strong skating and conditioning. He helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup last season and won an Olympic gold medal with Canada in 2014.

Bouwmeester was skating in his 57th game this season, the 1,241st of his NHL career. He skated 1:20 in his last shift before collapsing and logged 5:34 of ice time in the game.

The Blues in April signed the veteran defenceman to a one-year, $3.25-million (U.S.) deal for this season.

Bouwmeester held one of the longest ironman streaks in NHL history — 737 consecutive regular season games played — until a lower-body injury in 2014. He missed time in 2015-16 with a concussion, and a hip injury ended his 2017-18 season. He played all but four games last year and hasn’t missed a game this season.

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, one within 50 feet of the bench. A defibrillator, which was used when Detroit’s Jiri Fischer collapsed in 2005, must also be available along with a triage room and ambulances.

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