Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New York Rangers Honor Derek Boogaard's Legacy With Annual Hockey Scholarships

Al Bello/Getty Images

When it comes to sports people pick their favorite teams for many different reasons and the passion they have for those teams grows based on the players, possibly team success and the level of investment you have in the organization.  All you can hope for as a fan is that in times of adversity the organization you invest in makes you proud to call yourself a fan of them.  For New York Rangers fans this summer has been one to take pride in.  New York Rangers fans have always had a great deal of pride in the Blueshirts, but that pride should have grown more over the past few months in how the organization has handled the passing of Derek Boogaard.  Last month at the draft the Rangers had Derek’s brother Aaron announce their 2011 1st round selection in Minnesota.  

Today the Rangers have taken another step to honor the legacy of Derek Boogaard in announcing that they will present two hockey scholarships annually for the Rangers Summer Youth Hockey Camp to children of Defending the Blue Line.  Defending the Blue Line was a charity that was very special to Boogaard and to give scholarships to children from that charity in his honor is a tremendous gesture by the Rangers organization.  It is moves like this that make so many proud to bleed blue.

Official release:
NEW YORK, July 13, 2011  To honor the legacy of former Rangers left wing Derek Boogaard, the New York Rangers have announced that they will present two scholarships annually for Rangers Summer Youth Hockey Camp to children from the Defending the Blue Line program. Defending the Blue Line is a nonprofit organization created by soldiers with the goal of making hockey accessible to children of our nation’s military heroes, a program Derek supported wholeheartedly throughout his hockey career. Throughout the 2010-11 Season, Boogaard donated four seats at every Rangers home game for military families to attend as part of a group which he dubbed “Boogaard’s Boogaardians.”
This year’s scholarship recipients are two 8-year old boys from New York City who each have family members currently serving in the military. The boys will be attending the week-long camp from July 18-22 at the Madison Square Garden Training Center in Tarrytown, NY. Current Blueshirt center Derek Stepan, also an advocate of Defending the Blue Line, and defenseman Michael Sauer will be visiting the camp on Friday, July 22nd.
Rangers Youth Hockey Camp provides children with top-level hockey instruction with a focus on team participation and personal development. The Derek Boogaard Youth Hockey Scholarship will be awarded annually to honor Boogaard’s memory and continue the Rangers mission to help grow the game of hockey by making it accessible to all.