After his terrifying collapse on the bench earlier this month, St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester will miss the remainder of the 2019-20 season, according to general manager Doug Armstrong.
Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac episode midway through the first period of St. Louis’ game against the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 11. A target return was not specified in the team’s statement, given that the 36-year-old was signed to a one-year deal for this season.
“We both understand that he won’t participate this year in the regular season or in the playoffs for us,” Armstrong said, via the statement. “We talked about longer term things that may or may not happen and both feel that it’s February, you don’t have to make long-term decisions at this point. He’s going to take time, getting back with his family and be around the team and he’ll address those things as the summer progresses.”
After Bouwmeester was carried out of the arena on a stretcher and transported to a local hospital in his last game, the veteran defensemen admitted in a press conference that his future in hockey isn’t his main concern right now.
“There are decisions I’m going to have to make, Bouwmeester said. “That will come later… It’s tough but honestly hockey hasn’t really been at the front of my mind the last couple of weeks.”
Bouwmeester has been thinking about how fortunate he is for the Ducks and Blues medical staff, who quickly tended to him.
“The outreach and the support that people have shown has been pretty overwhelming,” Bouwmeester said. “There were a lot of things that were the absolute best-case scenario. … Places where this could have happened, the outcome would have been very different. From doctors in the hospital to pretty much everyone I’ve talked to, that’s the consensus. It happened in the absolute best place it could happen. … No. 1, they saved my life and No. 2 the fact that they could get on it so fast was very helpful.”
Bouwmeester had nine points (one goal and eight assists) in the 56 games he played before the scare. The game postponed game between St. Louis and Anaheim is rescheduled for March 11 at 10 p.m. ET.