St. Louis Blues defenceman Jay Bouwmeester seemingly collapsed partway through Tuesday’s matchup between the Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues. Teams both crowded the Blues bench, with many players waiving over medical personnel, before they were quickly shuffled to the locker room. Bouwmeester was removed from the game via stretcher.
Per Darren Pang on Fox Sports Midwest’s broadcast, Bouwmeester acknowledged his surrounding, with his eyes open, while leaving the ice. He was taken to a local hospital in Anaheim and is conscious and aware.
The Blues announced on Wednesday that Bouwmeester has been placed on injured reserve. Niko Mikkola has been recalled.
There was a medical emergency near the Blues bench. A Blues player was taken into the dressing room, and the game is currently delayed.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) February 12, 2020
Jay Bouwmeester Collapses on the Bench
Both the Blues and the Ducks were quickly sent to the locker room. The game was postponed for the night and will be made up at an unspecified date. Many reporters covering the situation, understandably, were choked up when discussing the situation.
Many are drawing quick similarities to a situation that occurred with Rich Peverley in March of 2014. That night, Peverly similarly collapsed on the bench. It was later found out that he had undergone cardiac arrest. His heart flat-lined and required defibrillation. Peverly, then 31, would go on to have a season-ending heart procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat. The incident would, unfortunately, go on to end his playing career. Looking back on the incident, Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff said, “Don’t worry about the game. It was about getting the doctors. The players don’t want to play, and I don’t want to coach the team right now.” That sentiment was apparent in Tuesday’s incident with Bouwmeester as well.
Tuesday’s game was the first game in the Blues annual “dad-week”, where each player’s father joins the team on a road trip. The team has been around their fathers for the better part of the week, since Sunday.
Bouwmeester’s last shift looked particularly normal, per the in-game commentators. Bernie Federko, who helps Fox Sports’ broadcast, noted that there was a minor rub-in with a Ducks player behind the net but it was nothing out of the ordinary. Bouwmeester would unsuspectingly skate to the bench for a line change shortly after.