From the Hockey Wilderness Editorial Staff:
When the news broke Friday night of Derek Boogaard's death, it dealt the hockey community a knockout blow. In the middle of the conference finals, draft preparations beginning, and the Word Championships going on in Europe, with Wild players and future players being heavily involved. Hell Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund brought home the gold.
Hockey is no where near done for the year, and yet somehow, talking about hockey on this hockey blog seems inappropriate. News of death is never easy, and yet we deal with it nearly everyday. It is uncomfortable, it is disheartening, and it is disarming. Finding the will to move forward while the family is still grieving and with so many questions left unanswered will be difficult.
Alas, we must move forward.
We move forward not because we want to, or because we are somehow required to by decree. We move forward because we need to, because it is the only way to feel better. Each day, we will come closer to not getting over it, but getting used to it. It will become a part of our being as a community, as individuals, and as hockey fans.
As we move forward starting tomorrow morning with our plans for the draft coverage, we want to stop and thank a few people.
First and foremost the Boogaard family. As I wrote last night, the fact that you took time from your mourning to join ours was one of the greatest things I have ever witnessed, and it will remain a powerful memory for as long as I live. We here at Hockey Wilderness wish you nothing but the best in the future, and will keep you in our thoughts and prayers as you move on with your grieving process.
To the Minnesota Wild for once again showing the class and dignity of a truly first class organization.
To Shelby and Katie for starting what wound up being a needed and welcome chance to say goodbye for so many.
Thank you Wild fans and Wilderness readers specifically for your support and understanding of we few minor players in the game. We know you visit for hockey coverage, and we will provide hockey coverage. Thank you for understanding why the brakes needed to be put on for a couple days, and for sticking with us and showing your support to us, and to the memory of Derek.
We would be remiss if we did not thank Mr. Michael Russo. The coverage of this event from him has been impeccable, as always. With as close to Derek and the Boogaard family as he is, he found a way to provide grade A work in a professional manner, while still being able to convey the emotion behind the words.
Finally, to NHL fans across the world. Thank you for stopping by in record numbers to share your memories of Derek Boogaard, and for doing so in a highly respectful and dignified manner. The kindness and support shown from even the fiercest of rival fan bases was most welcome. We truly are a dysfunctional hockey family, but a family we are, nonetheless.
Tomorrow we begin to go back to our silliness, or sarcasm, and our dripping disdain for seriousness. While we do so, we will never forget about the loss the hockey world has suffered. We will continue to keep tabs on the story, and bring you information as we get it, but we simply have to get up off the mat and show the heart we demand from the players we cover.
We shall miss you Derek Boogaard.