Blues’ Jay Bouwmeester undergoes heart procedure after cardiac episode

Feb. 14 (UPI) — St. Louis Blues veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester underwent a successful implantable cardioverter-defibrillator procedure at UC Irvine Medical Center in Anaheim, the team announced Friday.

The operation, which restores the heart’s normal rhythm, was done after Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac episode while sitting on the bench during Tuesday night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.

“Currently, Bouwmeester is under the care of Dr. [Pranav M.] Patel as well as an expert team of UCI electrophysiologists, including Dr. Michael Rochon-Duck and Dr. David Donaldson,” the team said in a statement. “Upon approval of release by the UCI cardiology department, Bouwmeester will be flown back to St. Louis and monitored by Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University physicians.

“The Blues will provide an update on Bouwmeester’s status early next week.”

Bouwmeester, 36, completed a long shift and was on the Blues’ bench when he appeared to reach for a water bottle and collapsed. Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo and teammate Vince Dunn were closest to Bouwmeester, and immediately signaled for help.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said Wednesday that Bouwmeester became unresponsive after he collapsed during the first period and medical personnel at the Honda Center used a defibrillator to revive him.

The Blues placed Bouwmeester on injured reserve after the scare, but said “things are looking very positive” for the veteran defender.

Bouwmeester, playing in his 17th season, ranks second among active NHL defensemen with 1,241 career games played. He had nine points (one goal, eight assists) in 56 regular-season games this year.