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Ranger Derek Boogaard dead at 28

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PER TSN......

New York Rangers forward Derek Boogaard has died.

Minneapolis Star Trbune's Michael Russo first reported the news on Twitter Friday evening, saying the 28-year-old was found dead in his apartment by his family.

"Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual," Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather said in a release. "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 and 2009-10. He joined the 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.

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This story seems to be taking a very sad turn. According to several articles, the autopsy won't be in for a week or two but the more stories that come out point to the fact he was a troubled guy. No sense speculating what may or may not have been the cause of death until they say for sure but things are heading in a sad direction.

His family has donated his brain to Boston University for concussion research. Must be a tough decision to make but hopefully it'll help future athletes with brain traumas.

Family donates Boogard's brain to University researchers

From an Associated Press story in March, CSTE is a collaboration between Boston University Medical School and the Sports Legacy Institute that is attempting to address what it calls the "concussion crisis" in sports. The group has been at the forefront of research into head trauma in sports.

CTE is a progressive brain disease believed to be caused by repetitive trauma to the brain, including concussions or subconcussive blows.

I want to emphasize, this does not mean Boogaard died of complications of a concussion. It's just a selfless act by the Boogaards, who believe in these researchers who are trying to raise awareness when it comes to brain trauma.

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Yes, I'm very serious. If the cause of death has been cited as "a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful pain killer oxycodone", those drugs don't get prescribed without the patient having full knowledge that mixing alcohol and medicines can cause dangerous reactions. Drinking alcohol while taking strong painkillers like oxycodone can result in breathing problems and increase the risk of an overdose, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Its sad, unfortunate and not an attack on his character to say he made a tragic mistake. IMO a bad choice isn't the same as an accident. To counter my opinion I guess you could say he likely didn't intend to tragically end his life by mixing alcohol and drugs so that was a mistake.

So if someone drinks and drives, and then either kills himself or someone else in a car wreck, was that just an accident?

Slow news day? Look, I'm not trying to make him a monster or infer that he had some big time substance abuse issues, I'm just saying that when you're fully aware of the consequences of doing what he did, its not an accident. An accident to me would be if he ingested some food or drug not known to cause any toxic reactions and had similar results.

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"Cause of death ruled accidental."

To counter my opinion I guess you could say he likely didn't intend to tragically end his life by mixing alcohol and drugs so that was a mistake.

That is my point, and I'm glad you said that because I thought you were going elsewhere with what you said. We are probably just arguing semantics here; the same argument that people use to say car "accidents" are not really accidents. I actually agree with that, but in this case I think the wording needs to be applied the way it is, since the other options are criminal or intentional, and neither applies based on the ruling. Best to let it lie there.

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From the NY Times:

Punched Out, Part 1

Over six months, The New York Times examined the life and death of the professional hockey player Derek Boogaard, who rose to fame as one of the sport's most feared fighters before dying at age 28 on May 13.

This article, the first of a three-part series, revisits Boogaard's childhood in the rugged youth and junior leagues of western Canada and his progression from physically awkward boy to renowned brawler on the ice.

Derek Boogaard: A boy learns to brawl

article-span1.jpg

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Punched Out, part 2

Derek Boorgaard: Blood on the Ice

‘I DIDN’T SEE it coming at all. I was in a bad position and he hit me hard, hardest I’ve ever been hit. I instantly knew it was broken. I didn’t lose consciousness, but I went straight on the ice. And I felt where it was, and my hand didn’t rub my face normally. It was a little chunky and sharp in spots and there was a hole there about the size of a fist.” TODD FEDORUK, former N.H.L. enforcer

article-span2.jpg

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Punched Out - Part 3

Derek Boogaard: A Brain ‘Going Bad’

It's hard to know what to think when you read this full 3 part article. While I agree that there is no cause/effect proof here on how much the fighting caused this, how much was genetic, how much was caused by other abuse, it is real hard to have the same take on hockey fighting after reading this. It's not like you don't instinctively know that something like this could be at work, but this is just stunning.

I would also offer an opinion that this should be considered general commentary on most contact sports, especially with respect to head shots. Makes you think a lot about football as well. Not specific to NHL fighting.

No preaching on my part, but food for thought.

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Had a lot of those same thoughts myself while reading all this. What an incredibly sad story.

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