Who; some may ask?
To many this name is meaningless, some have never heard of him. For others who do remember he was what was considered a staple for every team who needed someone to look out, defend and back up his teammates. For 6 seasons Boogaard played in the NHL, he had no particular offensive or defensive skills. His shot was horrible, his ability to pass was non-existent and skating expertise was beginner at best. Boogaards sole responsibility was fighting, he was what was called an "enforcer". This type of player is long gone, fighting in the NHL is down to virtually extinct at this point and the need for this role has all but disappeared.
He was an enormous human being, soft spoken, reserved and was actually kind of shy. He wasn't the kind of person who made excuses about his talent when asked how he made it to the NHL. He knew why he was drafted, it all began and ended with his fists. Over 6 seasons he had 61 fights, numerous concussions and countless other bodily injuries. During his last season with the Rangers Boogaard suffered what would be his last injury, another concussion. Over the last two seasons of his career Derek became addicted to pain killers, (oxycontin) which were routinely prescribed to kill the pain of his various injuries. On May 13th 2011 Derek would ingest a lethal combination of prescription medication mixed with alcohol. He fell unconscious and would not wake up from it. Ultimately he died from his addiction to pain killers. He was 29 years old.
Prescription medication addiction is still a problem. It was bad back then, it's worse today.
His mother took out a full page in their local Saskatoon newspaper today to share her thoughts about all of the things he's missed and about those of whom miss him. Click or tap on image to maximize