NHL's Bouwmeester has surgery to restore heart rhythm

AFP
Fans in Las Vegas sign a "Get Well Soon" banner for St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester before the Blues played Thursday at Las Vegas (AFP Photo/Ethan Miller)
Fans in Las Vegas sign a "Get Well Soon" banner for St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester before the Blues played Thursday at Las Vegas (AFP Photo/Ethan Miller)

Los Angeles (AFP) - St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who collapsed on the bench during an NHL game, underwent surgery Friday, having a defibrillator implanted to restore his heart's normal rhythm.

The operation at the University of California Irvine Medical Center in Anaheim came three days after the 36-year-old Canadian suffered a cardiac episode on the Blues bench with 7:50 remaining in the first period at Anaheim.

Medical personnel used a defibrillator to revive him on the scene as shocked teammates and rivals watched. Bouwmeester regained consciousness immediately and was taken to the hospital. The game was halted and will be rescheduled.

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After two days of tests, Bouwmeester had an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD) procedure. Once cardiologists approve, he will be flown back to St. Louis and monitored by physicians there.

The Blues, reigning Stanley Cup champions, will update Bouwmeester's next week. They lost 6-5 in overtime Thursday at Las Vegas in their first game since Bouwmeester's collapse.

At 32-15 with 10 overtime losses for 74 points, the Blues have the best record in the Western Conference.

Bouwmeester is among only 29 players who has completed the career hockey hat trick of winning the Stanley Cup, an Olympic gold medal (with Canada in 2014 at Sochi) and a world championship (in 2003 and 2004).

Bouwmeester has played eight seasons for St. Louis and has one goal and eight assists in 56 appearances this season. He has scored 88 goals and set up 336 others in 1,240 career NHL games for the Blues, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames since his 2002 NHL debut.

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