Derek Boogaard passes away at age 28
Sather: 'He was a very thoughtful person, who will be dearly missed'
“Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual,” said New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather. “He was a very thoughtful person, who will be dearly missed by all those who knew him. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time.”
Boogaard began his NHL career with Minnesota and appeared in 255 career games with the Wild from 2005-06 to 2009-10. He joined the New York Rangers on July 1, 2010, appearing in 22 games in the 2010-11 season.
Throughout his career, Boogaard sought to make a difference in the communities he played in, taking part in numerous charitable endeavors.
Boogaard was a supporter of the Defending the Blue Line Foundation, a non-profit charitable foundation whose mission is to ensure that children of military members are afforded every opportunity to participate in the great sport of hockey.
While with the Rangers, he created “Boogaard’s Booguardians,” hosting military members and their families at all New York Ranger home games.
In addition, he made multiple appearances with partner organizations of the Garden of Dreams Foundation, the non-profit charity that works closely with all areas of Madison Square Garden, including the New York Knicks, Rangers, Liberty, MSG Media, MSG Entertainment and Fuse “to make dreams come true for kids facing obstacles”.
The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native was originally Minnesota’s seventh round choice, 202nd overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
Rangers captain Chris Drury issued the following statement upon learning of Boogaard's death:
"On behalf of all Derek's teammates, I would like to say that he was a great friend and a great teammate and that we are all going miss him dearly. This is a tragic loss for the hockey community. All of our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family."
On Saturday morning, Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League, released the following statement regarding Boogaard's passing:
“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, to those who played and worked with him and to everyone who enjoyed watching him compete."