If you were at the arena, you know that there was not a dry eye in the place. As Train played behind the memories playing on the big screen, the fans in attendance rained down a chorus of "Boooo" to honor one of the favorite players to ever grace the Xcel Energy Center Ice.
After the video played, the Wild organization presented a painting of Derek and a game worn, framed sweater to the Boogaards. Then his former Wild teammates game off the bench and shared flowers with Derek's mom and shared hugs with the entire family.
It was a fitting tribute, Derek's favorite (and a personal favorite of my own) charity, Defending the Blue Line was presented with a $10,000 donation, and the Boogaards added another $6750 (plus the 150 tickets they purchased for military members to attend the game. Derek's mom and dad then held a ceremonial puck drop with Jarome Iginla and Mikko Koivu. To top it all off, Defending the Blue Line co-founder Shane Hudella did the traditional "Let's Play Hockey" call.
One final round of "Boos" and another large ovation, and it was time to play hockey.
For those who missed the tribute, here is the video, courtesy of the Minnesota Wild.