Thirty six year old defender Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac event on the bench in a game against Anaheim sending a deep message across the Hockey world.
We call the website Cardiac Cane in recognition that the Hurricanes have a bad habit of playing really close games that can go in either direction and keep their fans hearts pounding as the play goes on. But cardiac events in reality are no joke. What happened to Jay Bouwmeester during a game between the St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks was a testament to that.
For those who aren’t caught up, Bouwmeester passed out during the game while sitting on the bench, much to the shock of his teammates and the fans. He was having a cardiac event and simply collapsed. He was taken out of the game and rushed to the hospital where is currently making a recovery.
Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family in this difficult time. We are happy with the reports of him pushing through.
What happened next during the game was powerful. The game, tied at one, simply stopped. Both the St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks came to the agreement that the game would be postponed to a later date. It was more important for both teams that Bouwmeester gets the medical attention he needed than for the game to reach a conclusion.
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Because at the end of the day it’s only a game. Sure, there is a lot of money involved in it, but these players are human and the event is meant to be fun and enjoyed. The Carolina Hurricanes sure understand the latter part of that statement, but many fans are still disconnected from the former part.
We hurl insults at players, we lash out at them for not competing at 100% at times, we toy with their lives as we discuss scenarios where such and such player is moved across the nation or some other player is placed on waivers and sent down. We get so caught up with the game that we forget their humanity.
I am not innocent of this myself. This event was a moment of clarity for myself as well.
Across the league the hashtag “#PrayForJay” is sweeping social media and even appearing in physical locations and deep in rivalry locations for the Blues:
At the end of the day we need to recognize that these are players who are performing for us the fans and are earning their paychecks, but the game is still a game and their lives and livelihoods should come first.
Jay reminds us of that. We wished it was under better circumstances. Pray for Jay.