The news breaks:
Awful news: Derek Boogaard was found dead today in his Minneapolis apartment by members of his family. He was 28.
The New York Rangers are very saddened to announce the passing of Derek Boogaard.
“Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual,” said New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather. “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.”
"I don't know how to describe it," said goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who sat six feet away from Boogaard in the Wild locker room for four years. "It's really hard. Unreal guy. Great friend and an awesome teammate. Just a really big teddy bear. Outside the rink, he didn't want bad for anyone.
"If you don't know him, if you just know him by what he does on the ice, you don't know how great he is. Smiling every day. At the rink, I don't think he was mad at anyone ever."
Tribute threads from the SBN blogs:
The hockey press:
- NY Daily News - Jesse Spector's Blueshirts Blog
- Puck Daddy (Leahy)
- Craig Custance interviews former 'mate Wes Walz (Sporting News)
- Hockeyfights, with first word. They will surely have more later.
- NYT (Klein)
- Pioneer Press (Brothers)
The 6`7`` 265lb ``Boogeyman`` was as an intimidating a tough guy as I`ve ever seen in the National Hockey League. For me personally, I`d put him right up there with Bob Probert and Terry O`Reilly as one of those rare players who intimidated me right through my television set.
Though his job called for physicality, brutality and intimidation, all accounts have him as an overgrown teddy bear off the ice, with fondness for kids.
I remember 5 years ago when I first started hanging out with my girlfriend and her kids, Derek Boogaard played a tiny role in our lives. They knew nothing about hockey before I came along, but quickly learned that would be changing. The youngest girl took a liking to the Boogeyman, mostly because of his name than anything else. I got her a poster for her room and we even started to write him to see if we could get his autograph.
For whatever reason we never followed through with that. But my girlfriend actually kept the envelope I prepared to send to him, complete with the address. She kept it, and gave it back to me tonight.
@carlinrobin Just ran into Wojtek Wolski at Cap Grill. He's crying and devastated by Boogaard death... So horrible!
Absolute tragedy, RIP Derek Boogaard.
Deepest sympathies to the Boogard family. One of the toughest guys I've ever played with. You will be missed Boogie-man.