NHL enforcer Boogey Man found dead

New York Rangers forward Derek “Boogey Man” Boogard was found dead in his apartment in Minnesota this weekend. The 28-year-old, 6ft-7 enforcer spent most of his career playing for the Wild before signing a $6.5 million contract with the Rangers last year.

The cause of death remains undetermined at this time until officials obtain results from the toxicology tests.

Known to rule with his fists, Boogard racked up 544 minutes in penalties over his five seasons in Minnesota between 2005-10. The rugged forward lasted just 22 games this past season after suffering a season-ending injury in a fight back in December. Boogaard also turned on the red light three times and added 13 assists for 16 career NHL points.

Although The Boogey Man was a vicious competitor on the ice, once the skates came off he was known for being involved in several charitable organizations including, “Boogaard’s Booguardians”, a group that hosted military families at MSG and the Garden of Dreams Foundation.

His sudden death rocked the NHL and inspired this statement from Commish’ Gary Bettman:

“The news that we have lost someone so young and so strong leaves everyone in the National Hockey League stunned and saddened. The NHL family sends its deepest condolences to all who knew and loved Derek Boogaard.”

Used with permission of the author.

Jay Donetelli is a Tampa-based freelance sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax. With an opinion sharper than an Ovechkin skate blade with the sting of an Ali jab, Donetelli has a loyal cult of readers who have found a way to love him.

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