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Derek Boogaard

Born:June 23, 1982Draft:2001 Wild 202nd Overall
Hometown:Saskatoon, SaskatchewanPosition:Left Wing
Known For:Shoots:Left
National Team:N/A

Derek Leendert Boogaard (June 23, 1982 – May 13, 2011) was a Canadian professional ice hockey left winger who played for the Minnesota Wild and the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL).

His fighting prowess earned him the nicknames of “Boogeyman” and “The Mountie”, and made him a favorite with fans. In 2007, he was voted as the second most intimidating player in the NHL, behind Georges Laraque, who attributed his retirement in part to a desire to avoid the serious injury Boogaard could inflict, such as the cheekbone fracture Todd Fedoruk suffered that had to be repaired with metal plates.

Boogaard died at 28 from an accidental drug and alcohol overdose while recovering from a concussion. A posthumous examination of his brain found he had suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy more advanced than that seen in some former enforcers who had died in middle age. That disclosure came shortly after the deaths of two other hockey enforcers, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak, both of whom were also under 40 and had similar health issues. The three deaths triggered a debate in the hockey community about the issues faced by enforcers and their place in the game. His parents unsuccessfully sued the NHL and its players’ union over his death.

Derek Boogaard
NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard passed away in the summer of 2011. (Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE)

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