June 23, 1982 – May 13, 2011
Derek Boogaard was one of the most well-loved players in the brief history of the Minnesota Wild. The impact he had on this community reached far outside the boards of the Xcel Energy Center ice. Sure, he was a tough guy on the ice, but Boogaard's 24 jersey was one of the best selling in the NHL, covering the backs of hockey fans young and old. In his charitable works, Boogaard reached out to those who asked, any and all. He supported kids stricken by terminal diseases at Children's Hospital, gave money ,hockey equipment, time and visibility to the families of our country's armed forces.
Beloved in the State of Hockey, Boogaard brought crowds to their feet in support of him, his teammates and each other. A tough guy on the ice, a caring and compassionate one off it. A family man, who was looking so forward to his two younger brothers coming to stay with him. A family who had the unfortunate experience of having that family gathering ending in an unforseen way.
Boogaard's role was an enforcer. He had the back of each and every one of his teammates. It's hard to think that in this situation, nobody was able to have his back. I will miss seeing his grin, his charisma, his undying love of the game of hockey, his teammates and fans.
From the Wild:
The Minnesota Wild organization sends our deepest sympathies to the family of Derek Boogaard. 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.
I don't want this thread to become an investigation into his death, filled with rumor mongering and vitriol. I will silence any of that discussion with righteous indignation. This is a place to honor the 24. Honor the man who played every shift with honor. Honor the man who brought you to your feet, filling the Xcel Energy Center with the resounding chant of "Boogey".
Rest in Peace Derek Boogaard.
This is my favorite memory. Don't bother listening to the commentators.
UPDATE 5/14/2011 - The Wild are asking all memorials be left by Gate 2, due to other events at the arena:
The Minnesota Wild organization is humbled by the gracious outpouring of support in memory of Derek Boogaard following his passing last night. Some fans have already placed flowers outside Gate 2 of Xcel Energy Center. While we welcome such responses, we also want to ensure the memorials can remain undisturbed tonight when the arena will be filled with concert-goers for the appearance of Tim McGraw. Therefore, we respectfully ask that any such memorials be placed only at the large glass doors adjacent to Gate 2 (along Kellogg Blvd.) rather than near the main guest entrance doors.
On behalf of the Wild, we thank you again for the tremendous support being shown for Derek and his family.
Video tribute from the NHL: