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Blues offer counseling to players after Bouwmeester's collapse

Tim Tucker   ·   13 février 2020
Seeing a teammate in any kind of distress is never an easy thing. Watching one collapse on the bench and wondering if they might be on the verge of death can have a lasting effect on people. It is for that reason that the St. Louis Blues are ensuring players and staff have access to counseling following Jay Bouwmeester's cardiac episode on the bench earlier this week.

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“We brought in a support counselor that I got through George McPhee (Tuesday) night, somebody that had worked with the [Vegas Golden] Knights when they went through their tragedy on October 1st, just to make sure that the players know there’s someone to talk to,” said St. Louis GM Doug Armstrong.

McPhee is the general manager of the Golden Knights and the tragedy being referred to was the mass shooting that occurred on October 1st, 2017, at a music festival in Las Vegas.

Armstrong said the counselor is excellent, adding she gave the players some signs to watch for in the next 24 or 48 hours, and the next three weeks.

"I thought it was good in the context that we’re trying to let the guys know that there’s help out there if needed.”

Bouwmeester collapsed on the bench in the first period of Tuesday’s game between the Blues and the Anaheim Ducks. A defibrillator was used to revive the veteran him and he is now "doing well," according to Armstrong. He remains in hospital in Anaheim and more tests are being done to determine the exact cause of the episode.



"It’s obviously going to be difficult,” team captain Alex Pietrangelo said. “But we talked to Jay. He’s in good spirits. And when you see how he’s doing it certainly makes us feel a lot better.”

“This touches everyone,” Armstrong said. “The broadcasters, the trainers, media. It’s not normal. I told the players, there’s no playbook on how we should react to this. So don’t think that anything you’re feeling is wrong. There is no right or wrong in this situation.”

Defenseman Niko Mikkola has been recalled from San Antonio to take Bouwmeester’s spot on the roster.

Source: St. Louis Post Dispatch
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