NHL

Blues-Ducks clash postponed after Bouwmeester suffers 'cardiac episode'

By Sports Desk February 12, 2020

St Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester suffered a "cardiac episode" after collapsing and leaving on a stretcher, forcing the NHL clash with the Anaheim Ducks to be postponed.

Bouwmeester collapsed in the bench area during the first period of Tuesday's game away to the Ducks in Anaheim.

The 36-year-old and two-time All-Star – who was part of the Blues' Stanley Cup triumph last season – was rushed to hospital, where he is stable and set to undergo further testing.

"With 7:50 remaining in the first period of our game tonight, Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac episode and collapsed on our bench after completing his shift," Blues president of hockey operations and general manager Doug Armstrong said in a statement.

"Thankfully, with the quick response of our medical trainers, Anaheim medical trainers and their team physicians, they were able to stabilise Jay. He was alert and moving all of his extremities as he was transported to UC Irvine Medical Center.

"Currently, Jay is conscious and alert as he undergoes further testing by Anaheim's physicians. We will update Jay's condition on Wednesday morning."

Drafted by the Florida Panthers in 2002, Bouwmeester joined the Blues from the Calgary Flames in 2012.

Bouwmeester made 78 regular-season appearances last season as the Blues went on to win the Stanley Cup.

In 2019-20, Bouwmeester has tallied nine points for defending champions the Blues – who are top of the Western Conference with a 32-15-9 record.

Related items

  • Sharks GM says Bob Boughner not guaranteed to return as coach Sharks GM says Bob Boughner not guaranteed to return as coach

    San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson would not guarantee on Tuesday that coach Bob Boughner will return next season.

    Wilson would only say that he was going to be thorough after the Sharks went 14-20-3 under Boughner following Peter DeBoer's dismissal on December 11.

    Wilson spoke after the NHL announced that the Sharks would be one of the seven teams that would not be part of the 24-team return to play this season. San Jose finished last in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs for only the second time since 2002-03.

    "We are still in the process," Wilson said. "I've talked to all our players. I've been talking to Bob quite a bit lately, talking about just how we want to play and some adjustments, and some things that were learned through not only our team this year, but around the league, what works and what doesn't.

    "So, it's a process that's ongoing. Very difficult to come in and coach a team halfway through the year. You don't necessarily have all the ingredients in your staff that you want around you. I think he came in and did a very good job."

    Boughner previously coached the Florida Panthers from 2017-2019 and compiled an 80-62-22 record.

  • Coronavirus: NHL announces return-to-play format with 24-team playoff Coronavirus: NHL announces return-to-play format with 24-team playoff

    NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced on Tuesday the league will conclude the 2019-20 season with a 24-team playoff to crown a Stanley Cup champion.

    Bettman unveiled the league's return-to-play plan, revealing that the regular season is finished and when medical experts determine it is safe for games to resume, the NHL will dive right into the playoffs in two yet-to-be-decided hub cities.

    In the unique playoff format, the top 12 teams from each conference ranked by points percentage when the season went on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12 will make the playoffs.

    The top four teams in each conference will compete in a round-robin tournament to determine final seedings. The teams seeded five through 12 would participate in a play-in tournament featuring a best-of-five series to determine who advances to face the top four seeds.

    In this format, the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers are the top teams in the Eastern Conference, while the St Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars are the Western Conference's top clubs.

    The remaining 16 teams will match up as follows – in the East it will be Pittsburgh v Montreal, Carolina v New York Rangers, New York Islanders v Florida and Toronto v Columbus. In the West, it will be Edmonton v Chicago, Nashville v Arizona, Vancouver v Minnesota and Calgary v Winnipeg.

    “We believe we have constructed an overall plan that includes all teams that, as a practical matter, might have had a chance of qualifying for the playoffs when the season was paused," Bettman said. "And this plan will produce a worthy Stanley Cup champion who will have run the postseason gauntlet that is unique to the NHL."

    It has yet to be decided if the first and second round will be best-of-five or best-of-seven series, but the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final will each be best-of-seven series. 

    The hub cities under consideration are Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St Paul and Pittsburgh in the United States; and Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver in Canada. A decision on the hub cities will depend on government regulations and COVID-19 conditions in those areas.

    In addition to not announcing locations for games, the NHL also did not disclose any possible dates for games to return. 

    "Obviously, we anticipate playing over the summer and into the early fall," Bettman said. "At this time, we are not fixing dates because the schedule of our return to play will be determined both by developing circumstances and the needs of the players." 

    Bettman is hopeful players would be able to voluntarily return to their practice facilities in early June and an official training camp would begin in mid-July before teams report to their hub cities.

    "Let me assure you that the reason we are doing this is because our fans have told us in overwhelming numbers that they want to complete the season if at all possible," Bettman said. "And our players and our teams are clear that they want to play and bring the season to its rightful conclusion."

    In this return to play plan, Anaheim, Buffalo, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Ottawa and San Jose would be the only seven teams whose 2019-20 season would be over and would not participate in the playoffs. They would enter the draft lottery, as well as the eight teams that get eliminated from the play-in round.

  • Coronavirus: NHL releases framework for players to return to club facilities Coronavirus: NHL releases framework for players to return to club facilities

    The NHL and NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) have established a framework for the second phase of a return plan that includes teams reopening their practice facilities and beginning small group workouts in June.

    Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NHL has been suspended since March.

    Though it has not yet been determined exactly when Phase 2 - the transition period following self-quarantine - will start, or how long it could last, the new protocols include a maximum of six players taking part in on-ice workouts at one time.

    While there will be no coaches or team personnel on the ice, players will not be required to wear face masks while exercising or on the ice, but they must do so when entering and leaving the facility, or at times when social distancing cannot be maintained.

    Player participation in the phase is voluntary, and teams are not permitted to require players to return to their club's home city so they can complete a quarantine requirement in time to participate in Phase 2.

    Testing of asymptomatic players and club personnel will be done in the context of excess testing capacity, so as to not deprive health care workers, vulnerable populations and symptomatic individuals from necessary diagnostic tests.

    On Friday, the NHLPA said it had authorised further negotiations with the NHL on a 24-team return to play format.

    In that proposal, the top four seeds in each conference - determined by their standings points percentage when the regular season was paused on March 12 - would automatically advance into the traditional 16-team structure.

    The remaining 16 teams would have to compete in a best-of-five play-in round to complete the playoff bracket, with the location of the games has yet to be determined - the most likely plan seems to be playing in two "hub" cities, one for each conference.

    Commissioner Gary Bettman said last week that the league had narrowed its list of potential venues to eight or nine sites. Several cities submitted proposals to the NHL to become a hub and they include Las Vegas, Toronto, Minnesota, Edmonton and Vancouver.

    "I don't think anybody has a fixed timetable, particularly in North America right now," Bettman said during a keynote interview for the Leaders Week sports business conference.

    "We have been working very hard since we took the pause on March 12 to make sure that whatever the timing is, whatever the sequencing is, whatever physical ability we have in terms of locations to play, that we're in a position to execute any or all of those options. There is still a great deal of uncertainty."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.