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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“Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual,” said New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather. “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 – 2009-10. He joined the New York 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”.
(Photo courtesy of nydailynews.com)