Jay Bouwmeester remains in a California hospital, but the St. Louis Blues defenseman was alert and talking with teammates one day after collapsing on the bench during the first period of a game.
“He was in good spirits with us, typical Jay, so I think it certainly made us all feel a lot better knowing that we had the opportunity to talk to him. Typical Jay is a very good Jay,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said.
Bouwmeester, 36, suffered a cardiac episode during the first period of Tuesday night’s game at Anaheim. General manager Doug Armstrong said Wednesday in Las Vegas, where the team plays Thursday, that Bouwmeester was unresponsive after collapsing. A defibrillator was used and he regained consciousness before being taken to an Anaheim hospital.
“He is doing very well and is currently undergoing a battery of tests. Things are looking very positive,” Armstrong said.
Pietrangelo visited Bouwmeester in the hospital Tuesday night and the rest of team got to see him via FaceTime.
Bouwmeester’s father was at the game as part of the team’s annual dads trip and accompanied his son to the hospital.
The team had a meeting at the hotel in Las Vegas before the media was allowed in. Several players remained for the news conference and appeared shaken and tired after a long night and morning.
“It’s hard to even explain, it happened so fast, it felt like it was an eternity for us,” Pietrangelo said. “It’s not easy to see anybody go through it, let alone your close friend and teammate that you spend every day with.”
While Bouwmeester remains hospitalized, the Blues are trying to refocus on hockey. The defending Stanley Cup champions lead the Western Conference with 73 points but the gap between the top three teams in the Central Division was only four points going into Wednesday’s games.
Armstrong and players lauded the Ducks and Blues medical staffs for their quick work.
“How quickly they got on there to revive Jay to get him back is a testament to the work that is done and a testament to the NHLPA and the NHL for making sure that teams do all the proper work behind the scenes and have the people in the right spots, that are there to help the guys if anything happens,” Armstrong said.
The NHL has had standards in place to deal with potential life-threatening cardiac problems for several seasons. They include having a team physician within 50 feet of the bench. An orthopedic surgeon and two other doctors are also nearby.
Defibrillators must also be in close range. The home team has one on its bench and the away team must have theirs no further away than their locker room. Each medical team regularly rehearses the evacuation of a severely injured player before the season and all players are screened for serious cardiac conditions.
The last player to collapse on an NHL bench before Bouwmeester was Dallas forward Rich Peverley in 2014. Peverley had an irregular heartbeat, and the quick response of emergency officials made sure he was OK. Detroit’s Jiri Fischer had a similar episode in 2005.
“The Peverley and Fischer incidents and now Bouwmeester reminded us all how important it is to have team doctors close to players’ benches and defibrillators easily accessible in short notice,” said Edmonton Oilers general manger Ken Holland, who was with Detroit in 2005 when Fischer collapsed on the bench. “It has probably saved all their lives. Incredible job by league and team medical people.’’
Bouwmeester — who is in his 17th NHL season — was skating in his 57th game this season and the 1,241st of his NHL career. He had skated 1:20 in his last shift before collapsing and logged 5:34 of ice time as the game got going.
The Blues and Ducks are talking with the league about making up the game, which was postponed. Armstrong said a full 60 minutes will be played and it will resume with the game tied at 1.
Roenick out at NBC Sports
Jeremy Roenick won’t return to NBC Sports, nearly two months after the NHL analyst was suspended for comments he made on a Barstool Sports podcast about colleagues.
In a video posted on his Twitter account, the former NHL star revealed his status.
“I’m very disappointed and angry today,’’ he said.
“I will not be returning to NBC. Though disappointed, I am also grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to share my love, my passion, my knowledge of the game with millions of people, millions of fans.”
The video was posted with the caption “What a joke!!”
An NBC Sports spokesman acknowledged Roenick would not return with a brief statement: “Confirmed. He won’t be returning to NBC Sports. We have no further comment.”
Roenick was suspended Dec. 23, four days after guesting on Barstool’s “Spittin’ Chiclets’’ hockey podcast and telling a story about being on vacation with his wife and NBC Sports host Kathryn Tappen. He said a hotel guest asked if they were all together and joked on the podcast about group sex. Roenick later noted Tappen’s professionalism and how his wife is good friends with the former NESN anchor.
“I play it off like we’re all going to bed together every night, the three of us,” Roenick said. “If it really came to fruition, that would really be good. But it’s never going to happen.”
“Kathryn Tappen is one of the most professional . . . sports personalities that I know,” he said. “She is true blue one of my favorite people in the world.”
On the podcast, Roenick also described the appearance of fellow analyst Patrick Sharp.
“He is so beautiful, I’d have to think about it if he asked me,’’ said Roenick. “I wouldn’t say no right away.”
Roenick, 50, had been an NBC Sports hockey analyst since 2010. A Thayer Academy grad, he retired in 2009 after a 20-year NHL career with the Blackhawks, Coyotes, Flyers, Kings, and Sharks.
Globe staff writer Chad Finn contribued to this report.