Hockey players maintain their shape and athleticism as much as the next athlete, as they should. While staggering shifts can often help keep the NHL's finest fresh, there are times when players (specifically defensemen) can end up on the ice for two minutes at a time.
But sometimes, there are incidents this above-average conditioning and maintenance cannot account for.
Jay Bouwmeester suffered a terrifying incident on Tuesday night, as the Blues defensemen went into cardiac arrest on the team bench. Paramedics and trainers thankfully were able to revive him, and the game was postponed. Nonetheless, the official details of such an event, revealed a day later by Blues management, are as scary as can be.
GM Doug Armstrong would add that Bouwmeester needed a defibrillator to be revived amid the chaos. The 36-year-old Stanley Cup champion was taken to a nearby hospital in Anaheim, and stayed the night. The team, meanwhile, has yet to prepare for their next game in Las Vegas on Thursday night.
Bouwmeester's sudden cardiac incident speaks to the effort level needed to battle the rigors and stress of professional sports. Despite the fact that Bouwmeester is universally considered one of the most in-shape athletes due to his age and status in the NHL, even he is susceptible to this sudden, nearly catastrophic scare.