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Blues’ Bouwmeester won’t play again this season, will ‘evaluate’ future after cardiac episode

Bouwmeester hasn't played since suffering a cardiac episode Feb. 11 during a game between the Blues and Ducks. St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong said he and Bouwmeester agreed that there is no need to make "long-term decisions" yet.

Speaking with media for the first time since he collapsed on St. Louis’ bench during a game against the Anaheim Ducks, Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester said he is feeling “pretty good” and that a decision on his future and whether he’ll play in the NHL again “will come later.”

As for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign, Bouwmeester will not play again this season.

“Jay and I have spoken over the last week or so,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said. “We both understand that he won’t participate this year in the regular season or playoffs for us. 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, get back in with his family, be around the team and address those things as the summer progresses.”

Bouwmeester, 36, suffered a cardiac episode during the Blues’ Feb. 11 contest against the Ducks midway through the first period. Medical personnel on hand used a defibrillator to revive an unresponsive Bouwmeester, who was transported to UC Irvine Medical Center in Anaheim, and the remainder of the Blues-Ducks game was postponed. Bouwmeester remained at UC Irvine Medical Center for several days and subsequently underwent a successful Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) procedure.

"I wanted to say thank you to (Blues athletic trainer) Ray Barile and the staffs of both our team and Anaheim and all the doctors and paramedics. Everybody who has helped me that night and up to this point," Bouwmeester said. "It was a scary thing, but everything has been going pretty good lately. We'll continue to evaluate things as they go."

Bouwmeester signed a one-year, $3.25-million contract with the Blues in April and will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Drafted third overall in 2002 by the Florida Panthers, he’s played 1,240 NHL games across 17 seasons in league.

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