Seeing the video of Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester collapse on the bench during Tuesday’s game at Anaheim brought back painful memories for Cody Eakin.
The Golden Knights forward was playing for Dallas on March 10, 2014, when Stars forward Rich Peverly suffered a career-ending cardiac event on the bench.
“It was scary all around. It was very difficult,” Eakin recalled. “We’re all happy to see how (Bouwmeester is) doing and thankful for everyone supporting the players in difficult times like that.”
Bouwmeester remained hospitalized in Southern California on Wednesday after a cardiac episode with 7:50 remaining in the first period. The game was postponed and will be resumed at a later date.
St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong said during a news conference Wednesday at the Waldorf Astoria that Bouwmeester lost consciousness and had to be revived by medical personnel with a defibrillator.
Bouwmeester was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center for treatment and is undergoing tests to determine the cause of the medical episode.
“But things are looking positive,” Armstrong said.
The Blues stayed overnight in Southern California and traveled to Las Vegas on Wednesday. Armstrong said the game against the Knights will take place as scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday at T-Mobile Arena.
“It’s a testament to the NHLPA and the NHL that make sure the teams do all the proper work behind the scenes to have the people in the right spots to help the guys if anything happens,” Armstrong said.
Bouwmeester is in his eighth season with St. Louis and helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup in 2019. He has nine points (one goals, eight assists) in 56 games this season.
The 36-year-old has appeared in 1,241 NHL games after he was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2002 draft by Florida.
“Thankfully from everything I’ve heard he’s in a good place,” said Knights coach Peter DeBoer, who coached Bouwmeester for one season in Florida. “But that’s a scary incident. That’s alarming, and it puts a lot of things in perspective for you.”
After traveling through three time zones the past six days, the Knights canceled practice Wednesday to help regulate their circadian rhythm.
They begin an important five-game homestand Thursday against teams with a combined .655 points percentage. Nine of the next 10 games are at T-Mobile Arena, and the Knights can’t afford to fall behind in the tight Pacific Division.
The Knights are 14-10-4 at home.
“This is an important stretch for us. It’s crunch time,” defenseman Brayden McNabb said. “Good teams, playoff teams coming in here, and it’s going to be a good test for our group.”
Dumba fined for slash
Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba was fined $5,000 Wednesday for slashing Golden Knights right wing Ryan Reaves.
The incident occurred in the first period of the Knights’ 4-0 loss at Xcel Energy Center after Reaves crunched Dumba in the corner. Dumba retaliated later in the shift by whacking Reaves below the belt away from the play.
The fine was the maximum amount allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.