LAS VEGAS — Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester is 'doing well' and recovering in an Anaheim-area hospital after suffering a 'cardiac episode' on the St. Louis bench during the team's game against the Ducks in California.
Blues President and General Manager Doug Armstrong addressed the media for the first time since the incident on Wednesday in Las Vegas.
"Jay Bouwmeester is doing very well at the UCI Irvine Medical Center in Anaheim. Jay is currently undergoing a battery of tests to determine the how and why of what happened last night, but things are looking very positive," Armstrong said.
Armstrong thanked team athletic trainer Ray Barile, the Blues medical staff and the medical staff on-site at the Honda Center for the fast reaction to the serious situation.
"At 12:10 of the first period, Jay suffered a cardiac episode on our player's bench. Jay became unresponsive and the medical personnel used a defibrillator to revive him. Jay regained consciousness immediately and was transported directly to the UCI Irvine Medical Center," Armstrong said.
Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo also talked about the incident, and how the scene on the bench unfolded.
"It's hard to even explain. It happened so fast. It felt like it was an eternity for us. We really just reacted as fast as we could. Everybody wanted to help and do something. But once we handed it over to Ray and the doctors and the EMT, they were impressive to see when they go into action what they were doing," Pietrangelo said. "But it's not easy to see anyone go through that, let alone a close friend and a teammate that you spend every day with. But we're a tight group in our locker room, you know if you've been around us you know how close we are. And certainly we're lucky to have each other any time you're going through something like this."
Many members of the Ducks made sure to support the Blues both during and after the incident as well.
"Hockey gets pushed aside really quickly when you're talking about something like this. You play against each other and battle against these guys, but we all have enough respect for each other," Pietrangelo said.
Pietrangelo also said he personally went to see Jay and his father, Dan, who was on the team for the 'dads trip', in the hospital Tuesday night and was able to connect the rest of the team with him as well.
"Last night after the game, I went over there to see Dan and Jay with Ray. It was important for me to see him and for everybody else to see him. So we FaceTimed," Pietrangelo said. "So 'Bo' had the opportunity to kind of see everybody. And everybody sent him their wishes and I think it made everybody feel a lot better knowing he was in good hands and he was in good spirits last night with us and was typical Jay. So, I think it made all of us feel a lot better today knowing that we had the opportunity to talk to him."
Pietrangelo said he knows Thursday's game in Vegas will be a tough one, but that their hockey family will help them get through it.
"It's obviously going to be difficult. But we talked to Jay, and he's in good spirits and when you see how he's doing it certainly makes us feel a lot better," Pietrangelo said. "That's how our group is. We're taking care of each other. And when J-bo is being J-bo it makes all of us feel a lot better."
Armstrong said the postponed game against the Ducks will be re-scheduled, and that it will likely resume with the 1-1 score, but will play another 60 minutes.
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