Minnesota Wild player Derek Boogaard enjoys his moniker of Minnesota Wild Enforcer. At 6’7" and 258 pounds, Boogaard is a big classic tough guy that is on the ice to intimidate other players. Derek "the Boogeyman" Boogaard was drafted by the Wild in the 2001 NHL Entry draft and it wasn’t for his quick skating or slap shot skills, it was because he was big and could throw a good punch. He was selected 202nd overall, but these days his name is one of the first to come up when talking about Minnesota Wild hockey.
Dictionary.com defines "Enforcer" for Ice Hockey as "a physically intimidating or willingly belligerent player who is counted on to retaliate when rough tactics are used by the opposing team."
As the Minnesota Wild Franchise record holder of penalty minutes, I would say that definition is very fitting for Derek Boogaard. There are plenty of Minnesota Wild fans that love him, but plenty of opposing teams that think Derek Boogaard is a dirty hockey player. Besides the regular complaints of slashing, jersey grabbing and punching, fans accuse him of taking runs at other players with his knee sticking out. The Wild contend that Boogaard plays a physical, but not a dirty game.
"I've seen other guys, not as big as Boogaard, when they hit they try to injure the guy," Wild Coach Jacques Lemaire said. "Not Boogey."
Boogaard clearly enjoys what a hard, clean hit can do to an opponent's concentration.
"I just go out and play the way I'm supposed to and the way I can," he said. "I don't know if people think the game is supposed to be easy because of the rules now. I mean, it's not. That's just the way it is, you know? That's the way I play and if one of our guys gets hurt, that means I just need to skate harder and hit harder, you know?" Boogaard said.
When a reporter asked Derek Boogaard who would play him in a movie, he responded "The Rock." Yes, Derek Boogaard you are The Rock of the Minnesota Wild.