In the midst of the NHL Playoffs we are all reminded that though hockey is sport it is much more than just a game.
Yesterday New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard passed away. Boogaard may have only been 28 but had a strong following still in Minnesota where he played the first five years of his NHL career for the Wild.
Boogaard – known as the Boogey Man missed the majority of what was to be his first season with the Rangers due to a concussion. It took months before he was to skate again, and never suited back up for a game. After the regular season ended he went home to Minneapolis to start conditioning for next season.
It was in his Minneapolis apartment where he was found yesterday.
The news charged though the hockey community not just in Minnesota and New York; but globally. There has been an out pour of condolences to the Boogaard family, friends, the Wild, Rangers, and fans whom have lost a beloved player.
Boogaard spent time in the summers in Russia working along side Red Wings own Pavel Datsyuk at a hockey school. I would like to think that just maybe it was Datsyuk that gave Boogaard the scoring touch to make that goal against the Capitals this season to end his goal less drought; however, I think it is more realistic that Boogaard is the one that taught Datsyuk how to throw down. That Boogaard had part in what has lead to the more scrappy-confident two-way (all-way) player the Red Wings have now.
Pavel Datsyuk on Derek Boogaard via Bob Duff of The Windsor Star: “He comes to my town. A nice guy. It’s so shocking.”
You may have left us; but you will never be forgotten.
Remembering Derek Boogaard – Blue Line Station
NHL players, fans remember Derek Boogaard – Puck Daddy
Derek Boogaard Passes Away at Age 28, Leaving Behind a Legacy of Giving – The Hockey Writers
Derek Boogaard Memorial – Hockey Wilderness
Derek Boogaard passes away at age 28 – New York Rangers
PHOTOS: Derek Boogaard Remembered - Blueshirts United
Derek Boogaard found dead; Rangers’ player was 28 – Sporting News
Another loss for hockey – Pension Plan Puppets
So long to the Boogeyman – Star Tribune
Rangers mourn loss of Boogaard – Blueshirts United