New York Rangers tough-guy/enforcer Derek Boogaard was found dead in his apartment in Minneapolis Friday night, according to the Minnapolis Star Tribune. The team announced his death, but did not give specific details, though the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Boogaard was found dead in his apartment by family members Friday evening at 6:10 p.m. There is no word as to the cause of his death.
Boogaard was 28 years old, and coming off his first season with the Rangers in which he played just 22 games because of a shoulder injury and a concussion.
For those who want to read a extensive account on Boogaard and his life with someone (Michael Russo) who covers the Wild for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and was very connected with the enforcer, click on the link here.
There really is nothing else that can be said when it comes to such a devastating story like this one. From various personal accounts, the "Boogeyman" as he was so often called, was described as an extremely kind and gracious person. He played five seasons with the Minnesota Wild before the Rangers signed him to a four-year, $6.5-million deal last offseason. He may have been 6-foot-7 (without skates), 257 pounds with a nasty side (589 penalty minutes in six season) on the ice, but many described him differently off the ice.
Here's what Rangers' president and general manager Glen Sather had to say:
"Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual. He was a very thoughtful person who will be dearly missed by all those who knew him. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time."
"Boogy, you will be missed! Condolences to the Boogaard family. The world lost an amazing friend and teammate!"
"At a loss for words. I'll miss my roomy Derek Boogaard. You will be missed by everyone. Great friend and teammate."
Upon his arrival to New York, Boogaard created "Boogaard's Booguardians" which hosted military members and their familes at all home Ranger games, according to the National Post. He was also involved in the Defending the Blue Line Foudnation and the Garden of Dreams Foundation. He also partered with his brother to put together an off-season fighting camp in his hometown in Canada to teach children the proper way to fight in order to prevent injury.
In a statement, the Wild said:
"Derek was a fan favorite during his five seasons with the Wild and will be greatly missed here in Minnesota and throughout the NHL. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Boogaard family during this tragic time of loss."
And SB Nation New York's thoughts and prayers are with Boogaard, his family and all of his friends as well. Rest In Peace, Boogeyman.
#94 / Left Wing / New York Rangers
Jun 23, 1982