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Funeral held for Rangers’ Boogaard in Saskatchewan
Question of the Day
REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN (AP) - Derek Boogaard might have been “The Boogeyman” during his rough life as an NHL enforcer, but he was remembered Saturday as a gentle giant off the ice.
Rain fell as family, friends and hockey players filed into a chapel at the RCMP training academy to pay tribute to Boogaard, who was found dead on May 13 at his home in Minneapolis.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner announced on Friday that Boogaard’s death was an accident, due to a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful pain killer oxycodone.
“Derek had a way of attracting people,” former Minnesota Wild general manager Doug Risebrough said. “He had a way of comforting people. A big man with a soft heart. On the ice, players were trying to get away from him. Off the ice, the people were trying to be around him.”
“For some of you, he was the protector. For others, he was the big goof with that infectious grin ready to victimize you with a prank or a trick word,” Clark said.
“Some saw the quiet giant, the thoughtful friend. Others saw the gracious guy that was ready to pick up the tab for complete strangers at a restaurant. I think for all of those we can agree _ he was a giant with a giant heart who leaves behind a giant hole.”
Boogaard signed a four-year, $6.5 million deal with the Rangers last summer, but played in only 22 games because of a concussion that ended his season. He had one goal, one assist and 45 penalty minutes with New York.
His final game was Dec. 9 at Ottawa when he fought Matt Carkner and sustained a concussion and shoulder injury _ it was the 70th fight of his NHL career.
New York teammate Sean Avery and Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather were among those who turned out to honor Boogaard, along with Wild defenseman Brent Burns, retired winger Brendan Shanahan, and Jordan Eberle of the Edmonton Oilers.
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