Confirmed: Derek Boogaard passes away


Derek Boogaard was found dead Friday morning in his apartment in Minneapolis. There are no further details available. Jesse Spector has reported that the Minneapolis medical examiner has said there was no foul play suspected, but that the death is under investigation, as all deaths are.

Reporter Mike Russo broke the story tonight, that Boogaard was found dead by members of his family. He was 28.

From the Rangers:


New York, May 13, 2011 – The New York Rangers are very saddened to announce the passing of Derek Boogaard.

“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 – 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.


TORONTO (May 14, 2011) – National Hockey League Players’ Association Executive Director Don Fehr made the following statement on the passing of Derek Boogaard:

“The NHLPA is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Derek Boogaard. Derek was a well-liked and respected member of the NHLPA, and his passing is a great loss to the entire hockey community.  Our sincere condolences to Derek’s many friends and family during this difficult time.”


And then there’s this story about ex-Ranger Matthew Barnaby’s arrest in Amherst, N.Y.


AP Photo/Matt Slocum, above.

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  1. Niklas Backstrom on Derek Boogaard: “Unreal guy. Just a really big teddy bear. Outside the rink, he didn’t want bad for anyone.”

  2. RT @nydnrangers: Minneapolis medical examiner says no foul play suspected in Boogaard’s death, but it is under investigation, as is every

    I really hope he went out peacefully and not due to his head stuff

  3. I hate to even suggest the possibility, but I hope he didn’t take his own life. A lot of athletes slip into a deep depression following a concussion. That would make this even worse. But, either way it’s heart breaking.

  4. RT @Russostrib: He was so determined to return to New York and get back to being the old Boogaard after a very trying year. This is just nauseating

  5. the strange thing is, as far as concussion symptoms, is that he was
    skating, what, 3 or 4 weeks ago.
    so you would think he’d be symptom free.
    always possible
    for something to return.

    part of the scariness of concussion
    i’m done with speculating.
    wait for actual results
    because it could be one of many possibilities.

  6. @commie22: Wow..Boogaard news for real? I am shocked. Awful news. As tough as they come on the ice, and a great guy off the ice. I am shocked

    @ScottieUpshall: Saddened to hear the news about the Boogie man. One of the NHL’s all-time tough guys life & career cut far too short.

  7. Details are sparse, but Russo, of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, broke the news on Twitter late Friday evening.

    Awful news: Derek Boogaard was found dead today in his Minneapolis apartment by members of his family. He was 28.

    Russo went on to add the following, which gives context and makes this whole situation even tougher to swallow.

    I got several texts from Derek in the past few days. He told me yesterday he had just met with a PR firm in LA to join Twitter. He was also ecstatic that both his brothers, Aaron and Ryan, were going to be in Minneapolis staying with him this week

  8. LinCalPrustBoylahan on


    the past 2 days have been just filled with bad news. This is stunning and heartbreaking, and those words can’t even being to convey reaction.

  9. A total shock I was really looking forward to seeing him more next season I wish his family all the best.

  10. this is so bizarre because on the last couple of days, two athletes were found dead in apartments… former NBA player Robert Traylor and some college football kid Aaron Douglas

  11. has there been any reaction from the NYR players, or is there a site we can follow for twitter updates from NHL players? i actually have a sick feeling in my stomach right now.

  12. Totally out of left field. pretty shocked. Im with Orr- I really hope this wasnt a suicide. terrible loss.

  13. LinCalPrustBoylahan on

    James, my first thought was the concussion and if it played a part. So sad, I am just sitting here stunned to my core.

  14. i know Russia vs. Finland is on now.
    don’t know if they talked about it between periods.

    lots of heartfelt tweets and posts going up about
    the BoogieMan

    seemed like a gentle giant
    feel kinda bad that we didn’t get
    to know more about him as a Ranger.

    RIP Derek

  15. Lin
    as i said earlier my mind can speculate
    on a bunch of things…….remember we lost Joe Strummer
    suddenly due to a heart condition that no on knew about…

  16. jpg's sister on

    So sad to hear. Condolences to Boogies family. I will always remember the video of Boogy walking hand in hand with a little girl from Garden of Dreams foundation when he and Frolov went to build a bear workshop with kids. He seemed so gentle off the ice

  17. When all the details come out I bet he had health/brain issues from all the hits to his head. Former nfl players have had similar issues and developed dementia

  18. g’night all
    give an extra hug and kiss
    to those you love
    ya never

    rapture or no rapture
    you just never know….

  19. That Booger goal against the Craps was one of the best moments of the season, especially one of the best moments on this blog following the bet with Greg.

    Losing that game couldn’t wipe the smile off my face every time I watched that goal.

  20. Jeanne Russo on

    I am sitting with my mouth dropped. How terribly awful for his brothers to find him, How terribly awful for the sport of Hockey. There will NEVER be another Boogy. All in all concussions can be deadly. If that was his reason of death, maybe his death didn’t happen in vain. Maybe ALL atheletes will step back and realize you don’t mess around with it. Leave ego aside and LIVE for your fans. We love you and ALWAYS will! Our hearts are breaking. If it is self inflicted God forgive him and bless his soul. We will still love him!!!!

  21. Lputi17 Luca Caputi
    Its not fair, lifes too short. Here for you Aaron, love you like a brother bro. RIP D.B.

  22. oh my goodness.
    That is very sad for his family. It is sad for us Ranger fans who got a chance to know him.

    He was a great man

    God Bless

  23. ORR

    Don’t hold your breath… NHL (Buttman) is stupid If head trauma led to Boogy’s death they (Buttman) still won’t do anything!

    btw, i was at the game when Booger scored his only goal… it was a glorious moment, indeed!

  24. michabenjamin on

    Shame. Derek is the second player with the Rangers organization to pass within three years.

  25. JimboWoodside on

    Oh my God!! What in the world could have happened to him? R.I.P. Boogieman….

  26. Shocked. This is so sad, a young man. Another tragedy to give us all perspective, prayers go out to God to comfort the family during this difficult time.

  27. michabenjamin on

    In a time like this, it makes me sad and frustrated to see some people who bully people they don’t even know with grade school worthy or just flat out uncalled for, crude nicknames.

    I wonder how those who do it would feel if one of them was found dead.

    Every player is treated with the same love we showed Derek in their own city and I’m certain we would all be calling anyone who disrespected Derek’s name with a crude nickname rather unfavorably right now.

    Name calling has no place anywhere.

  28. JimboWoodside on

    I never heard of anyone dying from a concussion – at least not so long after the fact. Has that ever been reported?

  29. JimboWoodside on

    This is so weird – there was another Ranger player who died, a Russian guy (not Cherepanov, several years before him), wasn’t there? I think it was a suicide?

  30. michabenjamin on


    Roman Lyshanko, not the correct spelling.

    He was in a boating accident and hit his head around 2000 or a year later where he passed.

  31. Lyashenko! totally forgot about that kid…

    there is something about the Rangers that people come here to retire and die :)

  32. Yes Jimbo, it was Roman Lyashenko in an apparent suicide. For some reason when I heard tonight’s news, I flashed back 40 years ago as a teenager in the Bronx and remember picking up the newspaper (the night owl edition of the Daily News) and reading about Terry Sawchuk’s death when he had just finished his only season as a Ranger. I guess it is so shocking when we watch a player during the season and then he passes on.

  33. Olga Folkyerself on

    Wow! That is such sad news about Boogaard. Please don’t speculate. Wait for the official report. You aren’t making things any better…

  34. JimboWoodside on

    Yes! Lyashenko…that’s the guy….terrible that someone so young could do such a thing to himself and his family and friends. He must have been in a lot of pain.

    I hope we don’t hear that Boogaard died by his own hand.

  35. That’s so sad. Condolences to his family and friends, hockey comes in second in times like this. RIP

  36. oy i totally forgot that Gabby (and Voros) were very close with Boogy from their Minny days.

  37. JimboWoodside on

    I also remember hearing about Sawchuk’s death which was due to some horseplay/fighting with another Ranger, Ron Stewart. I was stunned to hear that news, and I’m stunned tonight.

  38. michabenjamin on

    Sorry about the boating accident theory.

    I should have double checked. I don’t know who I’m confusing then.


  39. JimboWoodside on

    No need to apologize, MB – it was an honest mistake. Another tragedy involving a Russian player.

  40. I just head the news and could not believe it. Absolutely tragic. Does anyone know how he died yet? My thoughts and prayers to his brother Aaron and the rest of the Boogaard family.

  41. So sad to hear about Boogie. I hope his family donates his brain to Chris Nowinski’s study. He is the ex-wrestler who is studying the brains of dead athletes who have had numerous concussions in their careers. Perhaps that can bring some insight into this tragedy.

    With Cerepanov a few years ago and Boogaard tonight, it has been a rough few years four our beloved Rangers. My prayers are with his family at this tragic time. God bless you Derek.

  42. this is just horrendously sad. we had so much fun with him this year in so little time. that goal may have been the moment of the year, even though it came in a loss. he carried himself with care and compassion and class in life. this hurts.

  43. Pretty much everyone in hockey loved this guy on a personal level and that’s what makes his passing even worse.

  44. Ugh! I still get sick over Cherepanov’s death. Every time someone brings it up, it’s like a kick to the balls. It hurts, and the pain lingers, but eventually goes away, but can easily come back with another kick.

  45. RIP Alexei, Derek. Alexei would have made us great. Derek did not help our team at all, but both are equally saddening. Loss of life way too soon.

  46. What made Cherry’s death even worse was the fact that these fuggers didn’t have working equipment to resuscitate him. Shyte-heads!

    His career would have been over, but at least he’d still be alive.

  47. …meaning that’s why he wasn’t revived and the emergency vehicle was not at arena. not what technically killed him.

  48. JimboWoodside on

    I know exactly how you feel, Orr – I feel that way about his untimely death, too. Feels like there’s a black cloud over the Rangers franchise sometimes.

  49. Just saw the horrible news. My heart aches for his family and loved ones. RIP Derek.

  50. “In a text message to the Star Tribune last week, Boogaard said he “disappointed a lot of people. So I gotta work my [butt] off this summer so I can get back to what I was doing in Minny, you know?””….you know we really underestimate some guys sometimes, and their level of care. from all the tweets ive read, everyones saying he was an incredible man. our loss.

  51. BrandonPrust8 Brandon Prust
    At a loss for words. I’ll miss my roomy Derek Boogaard.. You will be missed by everyone. Great friend and teammate

    just in now

  52. True Blue Mike on

    Just heard about this… Wow. This sucks, i really really really hope it is not related to the concussion. That would be horrible

  53. JimboWoodside on

    Lev, that’s a great insight – we knock guys at times for “mailing it in”, but we really don’t know just how bad they feel about letting their teammates and fans down. Some could probably care less, but everybody wants to be appreciated and thought of as being valuable, no matter what their job is.

  54. JimboWoodside on

    Thanks, Orr – Crikeys, that’s a BIG picture! I can see the facial resemblance.

  55. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The game’s not over until somebody cries!!) on

    I was at work and got the news from mrs wicky…..this blows. We wish all the best that we can possibly wish to his family and friends. Rest easy Derek you’ve earned it!!!

    I thought this was a pretty fitting video..

  56. RIP Booger

    I was at the game when he scored against the Caps too. One of my favourite memories – and definitely the funniest – from any hockey game I’ve ever been to.

  57. Ill never forget his last game and the concern I felt for him when he went down. So deeply saddened by this tragedy. We love you and always will appreciate everything you’ve done for us and it was an absolute honor to have you in red, white, and blue.

  58. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Concussion-related would not be good, but if it is drugs related, that will be covered-up as concussion-related, I fear. Who can trust statements by public officials, anymore (?) – they are all bought and P.R. sanitized.

  59. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    ORR!! – If this were a fair universe, Cherepanov, Krieder and Werek would be with this team, next season, and Derek would at least be alive and in good health. But we have to deal with the “spice of life,” which is its unpredictability, make the best of it, and go on.

  60. onecupin72yearsand counting on

    I know its after the fact.. but I didn’t really buy into the sore shoulder story keeping him out the rest of the season as was reported.

  61. Yorktown Ranger on

    Maybe I’m really slow to the party, but I wonder if Boogaard’s number ’94’ carried a special meaning. Like carrying the mantle for the last cup.

    Anyway, RIP big man, you left too soon…

  62. Horrible news, RIP Derek.

    This kind of reminds me of Stuart Sutcliffe. We’ll see.

  63. Awful. Terrible. All the funny things I came here to say are gone from my mind. This is just shockingly horrible news.

  64. I love hockey players and this is another great example. They do the deeds outside the spotlight. Boogeys great gifts to the families of our protectors is just another amazing act of generosity that is done for the doing. Thank you Derek.

  65. N.CountryNYRFan on

    Shocked to see the news this morning. 28 is too young to die. RIP Booger and my prays to his family.

  66. 4generations 4 cups on

    Im completely just, stunned by this. This is not right. I really hope that this wasnt because of that knockout punch that he took earlier this year, your life isn’t worth this game. I loved Boogeyman, even if you all were upset about his contract. A true fear-bringer, what a horrible way to go.

    Rest in Peace, Derek Boogaard.

  67. I’d hate to speculate but this is probably related to his health/concussion issues. It was sad enough that it sounded like his hockey career was over. This is shockingly tragic and sad news, I feel awful for those close to him…

  68. Just terrible, terrible news…and it’s heartbreaking to read the tributes to him (especially that Star Tribune piece)

    We didn’t get to see enough of him, and it now pains me that we held his contract against him in some way. Seems like he was a truly genuine kind of guy who was bothered by his lack of success this past season and was hoping to atone for it.

    28 is just way, way too young. And if his death had ANYTHING to do with his concussion, then the NHL has to seriously take measures to protect it’s players. We’ll just have to wait and see what the doctors find out.

    RIP, Derek. You wore the red, white and blue for a short time but you’ll always be a Blueshirt.

    Cherapanov passing away was a tragedy, to be sure. But this time we lost a player CURRENTLY playing for us. Can’t really remember a tragedy like this for the Rangers in quite some time. And I can’t that image out of my head of him and Frolov at the kid’s hospital earlier this year. Boogey looked like such a big clown there. But looked like he was enjoying himself.

    We’ll miss you, big guy.

  69. What a tradgedy so young and such a great man off the ice as well as on. It’s ashame Ranger fans never got to see Boogie at his best.He was an aw inspiring player who just wanted to play hockey but knew his ticket was to fight and protect his teammates.As we saw in his short time with the Rangers most fighters wanted no part of him and those that did usually surprised him or hit him from behind.They can all rest now Derek is in a better place now,may you RIP Derek.My heart goes out to his family,mom and dad 2 brothers and a sister. RIPDerek!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. ye in that Star Tribune piece, someone in the comments section wrote that there’s a video of Boogy and Frolov at the kid’s charity, and he was holding the hand of a little girl when she asked him who he was, he told her “Im Derek Boogaard, I play hockey for the NYR”, she told him ” Oh ye, I know you, you score a lot of goals.” He got a big smile on his face and said, “No, that’s not me.” This just breaks my heart.

  71. That’s the most touching video I’ve ever seen. What an unbelievable guy with an unbelievable heart. Bye Boogeyman. RIP

  72. leetchhalloffame on

    Just need to remember that everything in life takes second place to health & well-being. RIP #94.

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