May 14, 2011 by staff
Boogard Dead, New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard was found dead Friday in his apartment in Minneapolis. He was 28. The team announced the death Boogaard on Friday night but gave no details. The Star Tribune of Minneapolis first reported members of his family found Boogaard dead in his home. The medical examiner’s office in Hennepin County, Minnesota, confirmed the details and said an autopsy was pending.
“Derek was a very kind and loving person,” said Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather. “It was a very thoughtful person, who will be dearly missed by all who knew him. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time.”
Boogaard signed for four years and $ 6.5 million with the Rangers in July and appeared in 22 games with them last season. He had a goal and an assist to go with 45 penalty minutes.
One of the most feared fighters in the league, Boogaard missed the last 52 games of the regular season with an injured shoulder and concussion and did not play in the playoffs.
“The NHLPA is deeply saddened by the sudden death of Derek Boogaard,” said Association of the NHL Players’ Don Fehr, executive director in a statement. “Derek was a much loved and respected member of the NHLPA, and his passing is a great loss for the entire hockey community. Our deepest condolences to Derek’s many friends and family during this difficult time.”
Boogaard began his career in the NHL with Minnesota and appeared in 255 games with the 2005-10 Wildcats.
“The Minnesota Wild organization sends our deepest condolences to the family of Derek Boogaard, the team said in a statement. “Derek is a fan favorite during his five seasons with the Wildcats and will be sorely missed here in Minnesota and the NHL. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Boogaard family during this tragic time of loss.”
In 277 regular season games with Minnesota and the Rangers over six seasons, had three goals and 13 assists and 589 penalty minutes.
The native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, was the choice of Minnesota in the seventh assault, 202nd overall in the 2001 project.
It is the second death of a player in the Rangers organization in the past three years. Alexei Cherepanov, selected by New York with the 17th selection overall pick in 2007, died in Chekhov, Russia on October 13, 2008, after collapsing on the bench during a KHL game while playing for Avangard Omsk. The 19-year-old Cherepanov did not sign with the Rangers and has never played in the NHL.
Roman Lyashenko, who played briefly with the Rangers several years ago, was found dead in a hotel room in Turkey, while on holiday in 2003. His death was believed to be suicide.
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