Tag Archives: Derek Boogaard

FAN-FARE: A DEAFENING SILENCE BY ADAM GAVRIEL

clip_image001BY: Adam Gavriel

Over 5 months after his tragic passing, the Rangers returned home to re-open the 33% transformed Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. Not only was it notable for the first phase renovation that was completed, but this would also be the first game the Blueshirts played on their home ice since the passing of  their 2010-2011 teammate, enforcer Derek Boogaard.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

BY: Bruce Berlet

Lights. Camera. Action.

Yes, more than the usual number of faces was on hand for the opening of the New York Rangers’ training camp Friday at the Madison Square Garden training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y.

HBO has begun filming the Rangers for the second season of “24/7: Road to the Winter Classic,” which will keep Blueshirts fans across the country glued to their television sets this winter. The Rangers will play the Philadelphia Flyers in the fifth Winter Classic on Jan. 2 at 1 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park, though official announcement of the game might not be made until the end of the month. It originally was to be played at Lincoln Financial Field on New Year’s Day, which is when the Winter Classic has always been played. But the Philadelphia Eagles are scheduled to play at Lincoln Financial Field on Jan. 1, so the game was moved back a day.

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FROM THE CREASE with Bruce Berlet

BY: Bruce Berlet

After a stellar first season with the New York Rangers, it has been a difficult 12 months for Marian Gaborik.

First, the right wing who signed a five-year, $37.5 million free-agent deal with the Blueshirts on July 1, 2009 saw his goal production plummet from 42 to 22 last season as he battled injuries while trying to find a center to work with on a consistent basis. But that disappointment and angst paled in comparison to what transpired in the past four months.

On May 13, Rangers left wing/enforcer and close friend Derek Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment, the victim of an accidental overdose of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone. Boogaard was 28.

On Wednesday, the 29-year-old Gaborik was trying to come to grips with the tragic death of another of his best friends, former NHL standout center Pavol Demitra, one of 43 people killed in the crash of a plane carrying the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team of the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia. Demitra was 37.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

BY: Bruce Berlet

Not surprisingly, the mother of Wade Belak said the former NHL player suffered from depression before committing suicide last Wednesday.

“I think he was taking control of that,” Lorraine Belak said in a phone interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Company from Nashville, Tenn. “He didn’t talk about it all the time or a lot.”

The body of the 35-year-old Belak was found in a downtown luxury hotel and condominium in Toronto where he was staying as he prepared for the reality show “Battle of the Blades,” the CBC’s version of “Dancing With the Stars.” A person familiar with his death said Belak, who had eight goals, 25 assists, 136 fights and 1,263 penalty minutes in 549 NHL games for five teams in 14 seasons, hanged himself just hours after joking with 2006 Olympic pairs silver medalist Tanith Belbin on a Twitter post.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

BY: Bruce Berlet

Another tragic story rocked the pro hockey world Wednesday when another former tough guy battling personal issues, Wade Belak, was found dead in his Toronto condominium.

Belak, who was 35, announced his retirement from hockey in March and was training to compete in “Battle of the Bladers,” a Canadian Broadcasting Company show that is hockey’s version of “Dancing With the Stars.” Dying seeming impossible after he had posted on Twitter on Tuesday night, joking with 2006 Olympic pairs silver medalist Tanith Belbin.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

BY: Bruce Berlet

Talk about eerie and haunting similarity in the deaths of two young, tough NHL players in a span of three months while trying to fight personal demons and found dead by family members.

First, Derek Boogaard’s two brothers discovered the New York Rangers’ left wing/enforcer dead in his apartment in Minneapolis, Minn., after an accidental overdose of alcohol and oxycodone on May 13. He was 28.

Monday, a family member found Winnipeg Jets center/enforcer Rick Rypien dead in his home in Crowsnet Pass, Alberta, at 27. No information on Rypien’s death has been released, but he had been battling depression for a decade.

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1BY: Bruce Berlet

The Connecticut Whale likely will have another young candidate for the blueline this season.

Mikhail Pashnin wasn’t scheduled to play for the New York Rangers in the prospects tournament next month, but that could change after the 22-year-old defenseman decided to continue his career in North America.

The Rangers’ seventh-round pick in 2007 will not renew his contract with CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia, opting to go to New York to pursue his dream of playing in the NHL, according to CSKA general manager and former Rangers forward Sergei Nemchinov.

FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1BY: Bruce Berlet

The Phoenix Coyotes continue to have a Hartford Whalers look behind the bench.

Former Whalers and New Haven Nighthawks wing John Anderson has signed a multi-year contract to be a Coyotes assistant coach under former Whalers wing Dave Tippett. Anderson and Jim Playfair, who also has NHL head coaching experience with the Calgary Flames, replace former Whalers and Rangers defenseman Ulf Samuelsson, who became head coach of Modo in his native Sweden on May 2, and Dave King, who was named a development coach last week.

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BOOGAARD HONORED WITH SCHOLARSHIP

NEW YORK RANGERS ANNOUNCE ANNUAL DEREK BOOGAARD YOUTH HOCKEY SCHOLARSHIP

New York RNEW YORK, July 13, 2011 To honor the legacy of former Rangers left wing Derek Boogaard, the New York Rangers have announced that they will present two scholarships annually for Rangers Summer Youth Hockey Camp to children from the Defending the Blue Line program. Defending the Blue Line is a nonprofit organization created by soldiers with the goal of making hockey accessible to children of our nation’s military heroes, a program Derek supported wholeheartedly throughout his hockey career. Throughout the 2010-11 Season, Boogaard donated four seats at every Rangers home game for military families to attend as part of a group which he dubbed “Boogaard’s Boogaardians.”

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FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

bruce mug shot 1BY: Bruce Berlet

With goaltending and defense in lots of good hands, it wasn’t surprising the New York Rangers’ first four picks in the NHL draft Friday night and Saturday were forwards.

With the 15th pick, the Rangers chose center/left wing Jonathan T. Miller, who led Team USA in scoring with four goals and nine assists in six games en route to winning the gold medal in the Under-18 World Junior Championship in Germany. He tied for third among all skaters in points and was selected by tournament coaches as Team USA’s top player in the elite event.

Miller’s selection at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., came with some emotion, as it was announced by Aaron Boogaard, the younger brother of Derek Boogaard, the Rangers’ left wing who died at 28 at his apartment in Minneapolis on May 13. Boogaard, whose late brother was a seventh-round pick of the host Minnesota Wild in 2001, was introduced by Rangers director of player personnel Gordie Clark.

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