Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac episode and collapsed on the bench during a game on Feb. 11. A few days later, he underwent a procedure that installed an implantable cardioverter defibrillator. He offered his first public comments since the incident at a press conference Wednesday.
"There's been a lot going on. I think that's something I'm going to definitely have to evaluate," Bouwmeester said to the assembled media when asked about his playing future. "I wouldn't say I've done that fully yet. There's decisions that I'm going to have to make but that will come later."
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong clarified that Bouwmeester will not play again this season or during the playoffs and any long-term decisions will be made this summer.
"Quite honestly, hockey hasn't really been at the front of my mind the last couple of weeks," Bouwmeester said. "It's surreal because right now I feel pretty good, so you can compare it to another injury or something that you've gone through where you're just not playing. But you have to remind yourself of what happened and it puts things into perspective. ... When you put everything in perspective, it's OK to just take a step back right now."
The 36-year-old blue-liner has appeared in 1,240 regular-season games during his 17-year career, tallying 424 points. He's a member of the Triple Gold Club after winning a Stanley Cup with the Blues in 2019, an Olympic gold medal with Canada in 2014, and two World Championship gold medals in 2003 and 2004.