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Derek Boogaard

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Sad news to here...prayers & thoughts goes out to his family & friends....teammates.

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From the Regina Leader Post

REGINA The unexpected death of Regina's Derek Boogaard has sent reverberations throughout the NHL, the hockey world and his community of friends.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Boogaard, who was 28, was found dead Friday in his apartment in Minneapolis. According to the New York Daily News, foul play is not suspected and an investigation is underway.

"Obviously, you don't want to believe it,'' said Josh Harding, a fellow Regina product and a former teammate of Boogaard's with the NHL's Minnesota Wild. "It's something you can't prepare for especially how young he is and how much of a life he had ahead of him.

"He's a gentle giant. If you just watched him on the ice, he had that mean, rough, tough background. But that wasn't him. He loved his teammates. He loved his family. He loved everybody. He didn't want any bad for anybody. He had your back with everything. It's a major loss to everybody that knew him. He's really going to be missed.''

Regina Pats director of scouting Todd Ripplinger also reacted with disbelief after the sad news surfaced Friday night.

"Is it true?'' Ripplinger said. "I'm in shock. I don't know what happened, but my prayers go out to his family.

"He was a great young man. I knew his family really well. They're good people.''

Boogaard spent the 2010-11 NHL season with the New York Rangers after spending the previous five big-league campaigns with the Wild. Before that, the 6-foot-7, 260-pound left winger played in the WHL with the Pats, Prince George Cougars and Medicine Hat Tigers.

The Pats, for whom Boogaard played five games during the 1999-2000 season, placed him on their protected list after Ripplinger watched him play bantam AA hockey one night in Melfort. Later that year, during a rather eventful scrimmage, Ripplinger aptly referred to the already-intimidating youngster as The Boogeyman.

"It caught on and everybody called him that,'' Ripplinger noted.

"I was at the camp where Boogey fought everybody at Pats camp, trying to make a name for himself,'' Harding added. "It only makes you realize how precious life is. I send my thoughts and prayers out to his family, his friends, his teammates everybody that knew him because he was an incredible guy.''

Boogaard played 255 games with the Wild while emerging as one of the league's foremost tough guys.

"Derek was a fan favourite during his five seasons with the Wild and will be greatly missed here in Minnesota and throughout the NHL,'' the Wild said in a prepared statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Boogaard family during this tragic time of loss.''

In July, Boogaard left the Wild as a free agent to sign a four-year, $6.5-million US contract with the Rangers. A concussion, sustained in a Dec. 9 fight, limited him to 22 games, in which he had one goal, one assist and 45 penalty minutes.

"Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual," Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather said in a prepared statement. "He was a very thoughtful person, who will be dearly missed by all those who knew him."

Rangers teammate Michael Del Zotto added on Twitter: "The world lost an amazing friend and teammate!''

In 277 NHL games, Boogaard had three goals, 13 assists and 589 penalty minutes. He had one goal, one assist and 45 penalty minutes as a first-year Ranger.

As an NHLer, the community-minded Boogaard was conspicuous off the ice due to his involvement with numerous charitable ventures. In partnership with his younger brother, Aaron, he also launched the Boogaard Fighting Camp in order to teach kids how to protect themselves with their gloves off.

Although Boogaard was well-known as a fighter, he was much different as a person.

"Derek was just so the opposite of how he was on the ice,'' Pats president Brent Parker said. "When he was off the ice, he was just a quiet, soft-spoken guy who always had time for everybody. It might seem strange saying that when he did what he did for a living, but he really was very soft-spoken and well-liked by everybody.''

Boogaard was Minnesota's seventh-round selection (202nd overall) in the 2001 NHL entry draft.

"Unreal guy. Just a really big teddy bear," former teammate and current Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom told Michael Russo of the Star Tribune. "Outside the rink, he didn't want bad for anyone."

Two of Boogaard's siblings are also well-known in sporting circles. Aaron Boogaard played in the WHL with the Calgary Hitmen and Tri-City Americans before spending the next four seasons in the minor leagues. He spent the 2010-11 season with the Central Hockey League's Laredo Bucks. Krysten Boogaard recently completed her senior season with the University of Kansas Jayhawks women's basketball team.

Derek Boogaard is also survived by his parents, Len and Joanne, and an older brother, Ryan.

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Commissioner Bettman statement regarding Derek Boogaard

NEW YORK -- Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League, today released the following statement regarding the passing of New York Rangers forward Derek Boogaard:

"The news that we have lost someone so young and so strong leaves everyone in the National Hockey League stunned and saddened. The NHL family sends its deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Derek Boogaard, to those who played and worked with him and to everyone who enjoyed watching him compete."

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This is so sad a young man just beginning to get the best out of life,sympathy to all his family and friends and his team mates.

This may be a bit premature but I hope his family did what Proberts did,and donates his brain to sports science,I know that there has been no word on how he died,but I worry for all the other young men getting hit and fighting on the ice,if anything can be done to help stop this I am sure Boogaard would want this.

He was obviously a kind person and I feel for his family,losing a son must be beyond anything.

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Family donates Boogaard's brain to Boston University researchers

I just got off the phone with Ryan Boogaard, Derek's middle brother.

Twenty minutes ago, Derek Boogaard's mother and father, Joanne and Len, signed papers to donate their oldest son's brain to the Boston University researchers who are studying for brain disease in athletes.

In March, it was announced that even though Bob Probert died of heart failure, Probert also had the degenerative brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Probert was the second hockey player from the program at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy to be diagnosed with the disease. The other was 1960s enforcer Reggie Fleming.

From an Associated Press story in March, CSTE is a collaboration between Boston University Medical School and the Sports Legacy Institute that is attempting to address what it calls the "concussion crisis" in sports. The group has been at the forefront of research into head trauma in sports.

CTE is a progressive brain disease believed to be caused by repetitive trauma to the brain, including concussions or subconcussive blows.

I want to emphasize, this does not mean Boogaard died of complications of a concussion. It's just a selfless act by the Boogaards, who believe in these researchers who are trying to raise awareness when it comes to brain trauma.

"Derek loved sports and obviously in particular hockey, so we believe Derek would have liked to assist with research on a matter that had affected him later on in his career," Ryan Boogaard said

Right now, the cause of death of Boogaard is unknown and won't be known for at least a few weeks once test results and toxicology reports are back at the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office.

Boogaard's funeral will be in Regina, Saskatchewan, although the date is not yet known.

"Our family appreciates everybody's calls and condolences," Ryan Boogaard said. "Derek loved Minnesota. He loved it here. That's why he made it his place in the summertime. He loved the fans here. He loved playing in that building. He just loved everything about Minneapolis.

"Our family just appreciates everybody's outpouring of support. We spent a lot of today reading some of the comments online."


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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild fans are gathering at Xcel Energy Center on Sunday night to honour enforcer and fan favourite Derek Boogaard.

Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment Friday. The cause of death is being investigated. He was 28.

A fan set up a Facebook page to honour Boogaard and used the site to plan a public memorial at Xcel Energy Center. According to the Facebook page, fans will bring candles and their favourite memories to share.

The Star Tribune reports the memorial will take place at Gate 1, and that Boogaard's family members were so touched they plan to attend. The family is asking for privacy.

Boogaard played for Minnesota from 2005-2010, then signed with the New York Rangers.

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A Tearful Minnesota Goodbye

Len Boogaard woke up Sunday morning and realized his worst nightmare was still all too real.

His oldest son is gone.

"I keep expecting him to walk through the door," said Derek Boogaard's father, tears escaping his glassy eyes.

So Len Boogaard walked out the door. His car directed him to Xcel Energy Center, a little shorter drive than the 2,000-mile one he made from Nova Scotia on Oct. 5, 2005, to watch his son's first NHL game.

"I just wanted to walk around, take one last look," Len Boogaard said of his morning visit. "I remember staying at the Holiday Inn across the street. They had all the streets blocked off because it was the first game. Derek dressed up in his suit. I was so proud. I was standing at the window and watched him weave his way through the crowd.

"Nobody paid any attention to him. They didn't know who the heck he was."

Boogaard paused, pointed and said, "Look at how that changed."

Boogaard was talking about the 350 very sad Wild fans, many wearing Wild jerseys and equipped with signs and pictures, in front of him. Two days after their favorite enforcer was found dead, the fans flocked to Xcel Energy Center on Sunday night to pay their respects to Boogaard's devastated family.

Len and Joanne Boogaard were joined by Derek's brothers, Ryan and Aaron, sister, Krysten, half-brother, Curtis, a slew of other family and friends, former Wild teammates Brent Burns, Andrew Brunette, Niklas Backstrom, Nick Schultz, Stephane Veilleux, Wes Walz and the entire Wild training staff.

"I just look at the fans and can't believe it," Len Boogaard said.

The memorial was funny at times, especially when Walz spoke about how nobody wanted to skate against the 6-8 behemoth in early-year scrimmages. At times, it was heart-warming, especially when Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher talked about his memories of Boogaard and Burns wrestling on the ice and how compassionate Boogaard was with children and charities.

And at times it was downright tear-inducing, especially when his family courageously spoke.

Youngest brother Aaron tried to get the words out but choked up immediately. He was embraced during a gut-wrenching scene by his mother, father and half-brother.

Krysten, who was supposed to attend her graduation ceremony from the University of Kansas on Friday, took the microphone.


They sang amazing grace :(

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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Derek Boogaard's relatives and fans shed tears Sunday as they remembered the former NHL tough guy as a "teddy bear" who was as generous and kind as he was burly and tough, a sombre end to a weekend during which his distraught family agreed to donate his brain to medical researchers.

The 28-year-old Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment Friday, five months after he sustained a season-ending concussion with the New York Rangers.

Boogaard's agent and a spokeswoman for the Boston University School of Medicine confirmed Sunday that his brain will be examined for signs of a degenerative disease often found in athletes who sustain repeated hits to the head.

"It's an amazing thing he did and his family did. Hopefully, that'll bring some information," agent Ron Salcer said. "We don't know exactly the impact that the concussions might have played."

Salcer spent three days with Boogaard in Los Angeles earlier in the week. Salcer remarked about his client's brightened demeanour, after suffering through a winter of not being able to play or even be active while his head healed.

"He seemed very good, and that's what makes it more painful," Salcer said. "He was really starting to feel better about everything. He was in great shape."

Minneapolis police said there were no outward signs of trauma, but results of an autopsy are expected to take several weeks. There is no known concussion connection to his death, but at Boogaard's wish his family signed papers to donate his brain to the BU Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. The donation was first reported by the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.

Salcer said Boogaard was approached by researchers after the death of former NHL enforcer Bob Probert, who died last year at the age of 45. The BU centre found evidence in Probert's brain of the chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is associated with cognitive and behavioural problems and eventually causes dementia.

"He had had a concussion. They played similar styles," Salcer said.

The centre also found previously that Reggie Fleming, a 1960s tough guy who played before helmets became mandatory, had CTE, as did Dave Duerson, an NFL star whose brain was donated after he committed suicide.

Boogaard's parents, Len and Joanne, sister, Kyrsten, and brothers, Aaron, Ryan and Curtis, all attended the memorial inside Xcel Energy Center, where the six-foot-seven, 265-pound enforcer became a fan favourite with the Minnesota Wild for his fighting prowess despite scoring all of two goals in five seasons with the team. They did not address the cause of Boogaard's death or comment on his decision to donate his brain to science.

Ryan politely declined to be interviewed in detail after the event. He said he was already in town to visit his brother, before they all planned to attend their sister's graduation ceremony at Kansas University next weekend.

With a few hundred fans, many wearing replicas of Boogaard's No. 24 jersey with the Wild, standing in the arena lobby, general manager Chuck Fletcher, former teammate Wes Walz and Boogaard's sister and brother took turns telling stories and reading tributes.

The memorial sprouted from a Facebook page urging fans to gather at the arena for a candlelight vigil. Katie Haag, the creator, had tears streaming down her face as she and her friend, Shelby Leske, talked about how much they enjoyed watching Boogaard play.

"That's kind of what made me love the game," Haag said.

Aaron thanked fans for showing up, but he was too choked up to read. Kyrsten took over and remembered her brother as a comfort provider -- dependable, big, cuddly, loving and loyal.

"Derek was dependable to a fault. You could depend on him for anything you needed. At any time, your priority became his priority," she said.

Ryan then took over the reading as Kyrsten sobbed into her dad's shoulder.

"Derek was a teddy bear and will always be our teddy bear," he said.

A funeral is planned for Saturday in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Fans left flowers at a table in the lobby, and a replica of his jersey was on display. Boogaard's family took a few minutes to observe the makeshift shrine before departing. Then the song "Amazing Grace" broke out from the group while clips of Boogaard's charitable work and playing career played on television screens overhead.

Walz was joined by former Wild teammates Niklas Backstrom, Andrew Brunette, Brent Burns, Stephane Veilleux and Nick Schultz at the event, with several front office officials and team employees there as well.

"To all his teammates on all his teams, we know that you thought ... he was your comfort," Kyrsten said. "In reality, every day, you guys gave Derek reason to come to work."



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It's always awful when someone dies so young. The Hockey News' latest issue has a feature about the tallest forwards on every team, and Boogaard was listed for the Rangers. A little chilling to read that.

Just got mind yesterday,have not gotten to read it yet....but I will.

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To not get too personal but I work in a family business here in Regina One of my sisters works in our florist.

We have been asked by the family/funeral home to make the flowers (arrangements,casket spray,etc) for the funeral. The ribbon used with these flowers will be as closely matched to the colours of the Minnesota Wild as possible.

RIP Derek

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Medical examiner lists cause of death for Boogaard

Friday, 05.20.2011 / 2:04 PM / News


The cause of death of New York Rangers forward Derek Boogaard has been ruled accidental and attributed to a mixture of drugs and alcohol.

The Hennepin County (Minn.) Medical Examiner's office listed the cause of death as a mixture of alcohol and oxycodone toxicity. Oxycodone is categorized as a painkiller. The report said the manner of death was accidental and that no other data will be released.

Boogaard, a 28-year-old left wing, was found dead in his Minnesota apartment on Friday. Boogaard was a 2001 seventh-round pick of the Minnesota Wild and spent his first five NHL seasons with the organization. He signed with the Rangers in July, but was limited to just 22 games due to a shoulder injury and a concussion.

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