Friday, May 13, 2011

Breaking News: Rangers Forward Derek Boogaard Found Dead

In a shocking development, Michael Russo of The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Derek Boogaard was found deal at his Minneapolis home today by family members.
Awful news: Derek Boogaard was found dead today in his Minneapolis apartment by members of his family. He was 28.
There is no word on the cause of death at this point in time, but for now the focus should be on the man and the loss his passing creates for his friends, family and teammates.

The 28-year-old Boogaard joined the Rangers organization on July 1, 2010 as part of a four-year deal.  One of the highlights of the season was Boogaard scoring his first goal in 234 games on a slap-shot against Washington November 11, 2010.

In 279 career games Boogaard had three goals, 13 assists and 589 penalty minutes.

Official Press Release from New York 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.

Video: Mikael Granlund Goes Lacrosse Style To Score Goal Vs Russia

To see a "lacrosse goal" in a game of consequence is a rarity in hockey.  Today during the IIHF semifinals against Team Russia, Mikael Granlund would score one for Team Finland.  The skill it takes to scoop the puck behind the net, carry it out front on the blade of the stick and fire it beyond the goaltender at the top of the net is amazing, but to do it in such an important game for his country makes it even better.  This is the kind of skill that made the Minnesota Wild draft Granlund with the ninth overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Winter Classic 2012 Set To Have Rangers at Flyers January 2

The speculation about the 2012 Winter Classic can now come to an end.  The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers will meet on January 2, 2012 according to Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants.  The game will take place at Citizen’s Bank Park, the Phillies baseball stadium.  The reason for the shift from January 1, which has been the date of the Winter Classic to this point, to January 2 is purely because January 1 is a Sunday and the NHL did not want to go up against the NFL.

This will be the first time the Rangers have been involved in the Winter Classic and having it be against the rival Flyers will make it special for all involved.  Playing in Citizen’s Bank as opposed Lincoln Financial where they could fit more fans and have better lines of vision is somewhat disappointing.  Playing the game in New York does not seem to be an option for the NHL until Yankee Stadium is available, so that will not happen until 2014.

There is a presumption that the Rangers being involved means the team will be involved in next season’s HBO “24/7” special to give even more insight to your beloved Blueshirts.  It is somewhat surprising to see the Rangers, especially coach John Tortorella, agree to such access, but it is great for the fans and the sport.