Five days after the breakdown on the bench and a heart condition, blues defender Jay Bouwmeester returned to St. Louis on Sunday evening and said he was "on the road to recovery".
The 36-year-old Bouwmeester was left in Anaheim, where the blues played against the ducks last Tuesday, but took the next step in his rehab and offered his first public words since Tuesday's creepy scene.
“I would like to thank all of the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks coaches, first responders, Anaheim medical staff and the UCI Medical Center team for their quick action in February. 11, ”said Bouwmeester in a statement of the blues. “During this time our family felt the support of the entire National Hockey League family and the city of St. Louis. We are all comforted by your sincere concern.
“I returned to St. Louis on Sunday evening and was on the way to recovery. My wife and daughters are forever grateful for the support of everyone and we will continue to have positive prospects for our future. "
Bouwmeester needed a defibrillator after he passed out on the bench and was 7:50 left in the first phase. The game was finally postponed after the teammates were visibly shaken. Two of them, Vince Dunn and Alex Pietrangelo, called for help immediately after Bouwmeester slumped on the bench and had to be removed from a stretcher minutes later.
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator was installed in the hospital in Bouwmeester to restore a normal heart rhythm.
Bouwmeester has played 1,241 career games in 17 seasons in the NHL. He was part of the Blues Cup Stanley Cup winning team last season.