An In Depth Look At Boogaard

In case you have missed it the New York Times has been publishing a comprehensive look at Derek Boogaard, in a three-part series.  Not only the circumstances surrounding his death, but the wonderful life he had.  With the revelation that Boogaard was confirmed to have CTE all of this information is relevant to the concussion front.

The Times began the series with a look at Boogaards rise to the NHL, from an awkward skater with little scoring prowess to the massive man on skates that would fight anyone at any time, “A Boy Learns to Brawl“;

Boogaard rarely complained about the toll — the crumpled and broken hands, the aching back and the concussions that nobody cared to count. But those who believe Boogaard loved to fight have it wrong. He loved what it brought: a continuation of an unlikely hockey career. And he loved what it meant: vengeance against a lifetime of perceived doubters and the gratitude of teammates glad that he would do a job they could not imagine.

He did not acknowledge the damage to his brain, the changes in his personality, even the addictions that ultimately killed him in the prime of his career. If he did recognize the toll, he dismissed it as the mere cost of getting everything he ever wanted. Continue reading

Hockey Quick Hits

1st Period

With Boogaard’s untimely death and the questions surrounding the cause; many in the hockey world are taking this time to reflect on the sport and its violence, from the AP via Washington Post;

“I think the league does a good job. They’re trying to limit head shots,” Tampa Bay Lightning center Nate Thompson said Monday. “I don’t think they can (ban fighting entirely). That’s part of the game. It’s a physical sport and it always has been. If they take that out of the game that takes a part of the history out of the game.”

The NHL can ban any contact to the head, that is a very simple solution to remedy some of the head contact.  Secondly the NHL can enforce the boarding, roughing and cross-checking rules that create possible concussive incidents with hits to other parts of the body.  Thirdly, the players can start respecting one another at a higher level.  This is a systemic problem, not only in the NHL but throughout all of sports.

2nd Period

Patrice Bergeron continues to be out from playoff action for the Boston Bruins after his “mild concussion” in the previous series with the Flyers, from AP via Washington Post; Continue reading

Derek Boogaard

As many have heard the enforcer Derek Boogaard was found dead in Minnesota last week.  This report was filed by Hockey Trade Rumors;

It may be weeks before authorities know exactly how and why New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard died, although foul play is not immediately suspected. The 28-year-old player from Saskatoon was found dead Friday in his Minneapolis apartment. The team announced his death Friday but gave no details.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner was conducting an autopsy Saturday. County spokeswoman Carol Allis said authorities probably wouldn’t release results for at least two weeks. Minneapolis police Sgt. Bill Palmer said authorities received a report of a man not breathing shortly before 6:15 p.m. Friday. Minneapolis fire officials were the first to arrive and determined he was dead. Palmer said authorities do not suspect foul play at this point, but the police department’s homicide unit and the medical examiner’s office are both investigating. Palmer said the medical examiner will determine the final cause of death. “I don’t think we have any answers as to what happened or why it happened,” Ron Salcer, Boogaard’s agent, said Saturday.

It is not that we are late to the party, but with increased awareness on concussions and our very small “clout” we may have attained Continue reading