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From 2008-09, NHL doctors and staffers gave Boogaard prescriptions for 1,021 pills.

That continued after he was discharged from the first round of drug rehabilitation and, according to the lawsuit, in an NHL-mandated follow-up program that prohibited all opioid drug use. Still, team staffers prescribed him narcotic pain pills 17 times during that span.

Even the ugliest of the NFL’s 230 concussion lawsuits don’t deliver the same excruciating detail of a man drowning in team-prescribed pills and two fruitless trips to rehabilitation.

“Any reasonable person would say, ‘Wow, this was an overly excessive amount,’” Anderson said. “It seems the doctors and trainers were just trying to get this guy back on the ice instead of really caring for his health.”

That’s the damning conclusion you can’t dodge: The league’s machinery worked to put Boogaard back on the ice even as his body and mind crumbled.

Of course, there are legalities to sort out. The go-to move for the NHL, like the NFL, will be to seek to remove the case to federal court, then argue, again, like the NFL, that the collective bargaining agreement pre-empts the lawsuit. That’s a powerful play. A ruling expected later this year from federal Judge Anita Brody on the pre-emption issue in the NFL litigation could have a significant impact on Boogaard’s case moving forward.

The path is familiar to the Chicago law firm representing Boogaard’s estate, Corboy & Demetrio. It represents the family of Dave Duerson, the former Chicago Bears and New York Giants standout who killed himself in 2011, against the NFL.

None of this, of course, brings back Boogaard. But the potential for change in the NHL is written on every page of the lawsuit. Could this lead to an end to fighting? Improve concussion management? Create a leaguewide system to track each player’s prescription medication? Encourage retired enforcers to sue?

That last one seems more a matter of when, not if.

“The way the lawsuit is framed, there’s no doubt it has the potential to not only seek remedies for Derek,” Anderson said, “but it can definitely set the stage for former NHLers to start filing concussion lawsuits.”

Finish the 53 pages and you wonder who is next.