Some very sad news broke earlier this evening.
New York Rangers forward Derek Boogard was found by his family, dead in his apartment. He was 28 years old.
TSN first reported the story, in which Rangers General Manager (GM) Glen Sather released a statement.
"Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual. 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."
This is extremely shocking and very sad to hear. Derek was a big, bruising player best known for his physicality and it is sad to see his life taken away at such a young age.
Beginning his career in Minnesota, Boogaard appeared in 255 career games with the Wild before joining the Rangers this season. Boogaard played in 22 games with the Rangers this past season.
Derek was a very kind and thoughtful person, often giving his time to help out in surrounding communities. He always helped with various charities and sought to make a difference in other people's lives.
Boogaard supported 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 wonderful sport of hockey.
During his short time with the Rangers, he created "Boogaard's Booguardians," hosting military members and their families at all New York Ranger home games throughout the season.
Additionally, he made multiple appearances with the partner organizations of the Garden of Dreams Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit charity that works closely with Madison Square Garden and all of the teams and businesses that occupy and own the building.
Their goal is "to make dreams come true for kids facing obstacles."
Derek did just that. He helped make dreams come true. He even made his own dream come true by becoming a NHL player and he will be sorely missed by everyone.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family. RIP Derek.
A very nice tribute was written by Michael Russo, who has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star-Tribune since 2005. Russo knew Boogaard well and reading his article was truly a pleasure.
To read, click here: http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/121826023.html
Derek Boogaard was a native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He was drafted as Minnesota's seventh round choice, 202nd overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.