In Rememberance: Derek “Boogeyman” Boogaard
by Shannon Caulfield
New York Rangers and former Minnesota Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard, 28, was found dead by family members in his apartment in Minnesota on Friday. Boogaard was just another of many NHLers this season who sustained a concussion. His however, was a season ender (much like Sidney Crosby, 23).
While the death is both untimely and deeply saddening both to the Boogaard family and NHL community, the Boogaard family is making a move no one saw coming. The family has donated his brain to the Boston University School of Medicine. There, it will be examined for degeneration after repetitive trauma experienced by athletes sustaining multiple traumas to the brain (concussions) called traumatic encephalopathy.
Traumatic encephalopathy is something experienced when the head experiences multiple traumas. Symptoms include: agression, depression, signs of dementia, and signs of confusion, many of these signs and symptoms overlapping with post-concussion syndrome.
The connection of the two is no secret to medical professionals and the availability of Boogaard’s brain will only further help to provide information on details the medical community didn’t have understanding of before. However, Boogaard’s death hasn’t been officially declared and won’t be until the autopsy isn’t released, which may take weeks. The concussion may not officially be the cause, but has certainly brought about serious speculation.
Boogaard was selected round 7 in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft for the Minnesota Wild. He became a “fighter” and “enforcer” for the teams he played for. He gained the coolest nickname in sports “The Boogeyman.” While he was considered a bit of a scary man on the ice, people have nothing but kind, loving words for Derek off the ice.
“Derek was a teddy bear and will always be our teddy bear” Ryan Boogaard was quoted saying via TSN
His funeral service is planned for Saturday in Regina, Seskatchewan.