S T. LOUIS – It has been ruled out that St. Louis Blues defender Jay Bouwmeester returns to play in the regular season or in the playoffs.
General manager Doug Armstrong made the announcement Wednesday.
At a press conference at the Enterprise Center, Bouwmeester spoke to reporters for the first time since he collapsed in the bank in the first period during a game at the Anaheim Ducks on February 11.
“It was a scary thing, but it’s been pretty good lately,” he said. “We will continue to evaluate things as it progresses. Now I am at the point where I feel pretty good.”
Armstrong discussed Bouwmeester’s status for the rest of this season.
“To clarify, Jay and I have talked for the last week or so,” Armstrong said. “We both understand that he will not participate in the regular season or in the playoffs for us.” We have talked about things in the longer term that may or may not happen, but we both feel it is February. We do not have to make long-term decisions at this time. It will take a while, he will return with his family and be close to the team and will address those things as the summer progresses. “
The Blues hosted their annual parent trip when they played in Anaheim.
Bouwmeester said there was no warning that something was going to happen.
“Everything until that moment was normal,” Bouwmeester said. “He hadn’t been sick or had spent a lot. It was completely unexpected.”
Bouwmeester said he was moved by the response he received from the people.
“The reach and support that people have shown has been quite overwhelming,” Bouwmeester said. “The people who were at that time, in addition to my father being there on the trip, there were many things that were the best. He was able to transmit information and was a great help to everyone.
“Everything has been very humble. It’s a small world. People really care.”
The 36-year-old Edmonton native was hospitalized at the UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange County, California, and spent five nights in the hospital. Bouwmeester had a cardioverter defibrillator implanted in his chest. It is a device that monitors cardiac function. It can also cause a discharge to the heart if an arrhythmia occurs to restore a regular heartbeat.
“I’m on the point now that I feel pretty good,” Bouwmeester said. “The strange thing about all this is that you go from something that happened totally out of nowhere and unexpected to be in the hospital for a couple of days. Now there are some restrictions as to what I can do. But I feel quite normal. That is good.”
Bouwmeester said he had not thought about his future in sports.
“A lot has happened. I think that’s something I’m definitely going to have to evaluate,” Bouwmeester said. “To say that I have done that, I would not say that I have done it completely yet. There are decisions that I will have to make. That will come later.
The game in which Bouwmeester collapsed was postponed. It will be played on March 11. It will start with a score of 1-1, as it was at the time of the postponement, but it still follows a full 60-minute format.
The Blues have placed Bouwmeester in the long-term injured reserve. Since then, St. Louis acquired the Marco Scandella defender from the Montreal Canadians for a 2020 second round selection and a conditional 2021 fourth round selection.
Bouwmeester is a free agent without restrictions after this season. He signed a one-year contract for $ 3.25 million for this season.
In his 17-year career at the NHL, Bouwmeester has played 1,240 games. He has 88 goals and 336 assists. He was elected in the first round by the Florida Panthers. From 2004 to 2014, Bouwmeester played in 737 consecutive games, the ninth highest total of all time.
He lost only four games last season, when the Blues won the first Stanley Cup in the franchise.