NHL defenseman Jay Bouwmeester announced his retirement to The Athletic Monday, 11 months after he collapsed from a cardiac episode during a game.
Bouwmeester, 37, won a Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues in 2019. But his career was cut short when he became unresponsive on the bench on Feb. 11 and needed to be revived by a defibrillator after completing a shift against the Anaheim Ducks.
Taken to the hospital, he had an internal defibrillator implanted three days later to regulate his heartbeat.
“I’m feeling OK,” Bouwmeester told The Athletic. “I wouldn’t say it’s been totally smooth sailing, but generally, I’ve been pretty good. I’ve generally been able to do whatever I want to do and I’ve stayed pretty active.’’
Bouwmeester was drafted No. 3 overall by the Florida Panthers in 2002. Though known for the defensive side of his game because of his skating, reach and positioning, he did top 40 points three times and had two 15-goal seasons.
He was exceptionally conditioned, had a 737-game ironman streak at one point and logged big minutes.
Bouwmeester was dealt to the Calgary Flames in 2009 but did not make the playoffs until his 2013 trade to the Blues. A fixture in the top four, he reached the postseason every season except one in St. Louis and averaged 23 minutes, 30 seconds a game during the 2019 playoffs as the team won its first Stanley Cup.
The Blues signed him to a one-year, $3.25 million contract in the summer of 2019 and he had nine points in 56 games before the February incident.
In addition to the Stanley Cup, he won an Olympic gold medal with Canada in 2014 and was named to two All-Star Games.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jay Bouwmeester, who collapsed in February game, says he has retired