Blues interested in hiring Bouwmeester after playing career, GM says


The St. Louis Blues are interested in hiring Jay Bouwmeester as a scout after the 37-year-old defenseman retires from the NHL.

“I would love to work with him,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong told the Cam & Strick Podcast on Wednesday. “I would love to get him into some scouting for us in the future.

“He’s one of those guys. He’s got a great hockey mind, and also retirement’s great until you’re home all the time. Now I’m not saying that he’s going to want to travel like a pro scout and do four games in five nights in five cities, but he can go into Calgary, go up to Edmonton, go to Vancouver, he can come in when we’re there. These are the type of character people I have the most respect for.”

Bouwmeester experienced a cardiac episode on the bench with 7:50 remaining in the first period of a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Feb. 11. He was revived by medical personnel using a defibrillator, regained consciousness immediately and was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center in Anaheim for treatment.

Three days later, Bouwmeester had an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) procedure to restore his heart’s normal rhythm. The Blues placed him on long-term injured reserve Feb. 18, though he said he hasn’t ruled out playing again.

“There’s been a lot going on,” Bouwmeester said Feb. 26. “I think that’s something I’m going to definitely have to evaluate, but to say I’ve done that, I wouldn’t say fully yet. There’s decisions I’m going to have to make. That’ll come later.

“Just kind of taking small steps right now. … It’s tough but honestly hockey hasn’t really been at the front of my mind the last couple of weeks. … It puts things in perspective. I’m a hockey player, I like to play hockey, so, yeah, sure, I’d like to be out there. But when you put everything in perspective, it’s OK to take a step back right now.”

Bouwmeester scored nine points (one goal, eight assists), was a plus-11 and averaged 21:34 of ice time in 56 games last season. He is an unrestricted free agent.

Bouwmeester has scored 424 points (88 goals, 336 assists) in 1,240 NHL games for the Blues, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames since the Panthers selected him with the No. 3 pick in the 2002 NHL Draft. He had seven assists in 26 Stanley Cup Playoff games and was plus-9 while averaging 23:30 of ice time to help the Blues win the Stanley Cup in 2019 and become the 29th player to enter the Triple Gold Club as winner of the Cup, Olympic gold medal (2014 Sochi Olympics) and IIHF World Championship (2003).

“Bouwmeester had a huge impact on everyone,” Armstrong said. “He played hurt. He played through it. When we won, the outpouring of how great he really was from not only our own city but around the League, people were happy that Bouwmeester was a Stanley Cup champion.”

Tweet from @andystrickland: Doug Armstrong says he���d like Jay Bouwmeester to eventually come work for the ���@StLouisBlues���. Player had a huge impact on the team���s success. Listen to full interview out now. ���@camandstrickpod���

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