The hockey world lost its tough man status Friday with the death of New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard.
Boogaard, the older brother of former Tri-City Americans forward Aaron Boogaard, was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment Friday. He was 28. The Puck Daddy hockey blog has a nice piece about Derek here.
The Chicago Tribune has an additional piece here
Derek, all 6-7, 265 pounds of him, started his hockey career in the WHL with the Prince George Cougars and finished with the Medicine Hat Tigers in 2003. After two years with the Houston Aeros (AHL), he played five years for the Minnesota Wild before hooking up with the Rangers for the 2010-11 season.
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He earned the nickname "The Boogeyman" when he was in the WHL for being one of the league's toughest fighters. The name carried with him to the NHL.
Aaron played for the Americans from 2003-07. This season, he played for the Laredo Bucks, scoring 2 goals with 5 assists and 172 PIMs. When Aaron first came to the Americans, he told me he wasn't like his brother Derek — he had more offense to his game.
But as time went on, Aaron became one of the top enforcers in the WHL like his brother. He told me in 2007, "I'm not going to be a big goal scorer, so I have to get my nose dirty a bit if I want to make the pros." He did. Just like his brother.
Derek Boogaard is survived by his mother, Joanne, and father, Len, his younger brothers Aaron and Ryan and younger sister, Krysten, who is a basketball player at the University of Kansas.
My heartfelt sympathy to the Boogaard family.