It is unfortunate that my first hockey article in weeks has to deal with the death of an NHL player at such a young age. Derek Boogaard, who the New York Rangers signed during the off-season to be the team’s enforcer, was found dead in his Minnesota apartment today. The cause of death is unknown, but if I had to venture a guess at what it might be, the severe concussion he sustained on December 9 in a fight against Matt Carkner of the Ottawa Senators might have something to do with it.
Once again, this is complete speculation and hopefully we will learn more shortly. The man who had made a career out of giving, and taking, punches to the head had his season ended with one jab during that game, keeping the amount he played to only 22 last season. We knew the injury was bad, because an enforcer rarely misses that much time, but it could end up being a lot worse than we thought. I do hope that this is not the case.
Derek Boogaard was only 28 years old, and a veteran of 277 games. During that time he scored 3 goals and 12 assists while amassing 589 penalty minutes, and earning the reputation as one of the most feared fighters in the league. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and teammates.
Will post more info when we get it…