REGINA, Saskatchewan (AP) -- Family, friends and hockey players filed into a chapel in Canada to remember New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard.
The 28-year-old player was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment May 13. A medical examiner said he ingested a toxic mix of alcohol and the powerful pain killer oxycodone.
Hundreds attended the private funeral in Regina for the Saskatchewan-born Boogaard.
Rangers scout Doug Risebrough said competitors on the ice steered clear of the player known as "The Boogeyman," one of the league's most feared fighters. But Risebrough said people liked being around Boogaard off the ice because of his love of life.
Boogaard appeared in 22 games last season with the Rangers. His death came five months after he sustained a season-ending concussion.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press ©
Derek Leendert Boogaard It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our teddy bear and protector Derek Leendert Boogaard. Derek was born on June 23, 1982 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to Len and Joanne Boogaard, son of Peter & Nancy Boogaard and daughter of Ted & Anna Vrouwe. Derek is survived by Peter & Nancy Boogaard (Opa & Oma), parents Len & Joanne Boogaard, sister Krysten, brothers: Aaron, Ryan (Lisa), and Curtis (Gladys, Logan, Hayden, Molly), as well as numerous Aunts, Uncles, cousins and close friends. Derek grew up in Hanley, SK before moving to Holland Landing, ON. There was then a move to Stroud, ON, where he found his passion for hockey at the tender young age of 4. In 1988 he moved to Herbert, SK where he started elementary school, there was then another move to Melfort, SK where his hockey continued. Derek gained his well known nickname in the hockey world, the Boogeyman, while playing bantam AA after he was seen fighting on the ice. It happened that Todd Ripplinger was in attendance and put him on the protected list for the Pats Hockey team of Regina. From Melfort Derek then moved to Regina and played with the Regina Capitals and then with the Regina Pats. After playing with the Pats Derek was sent to play for the Prince George Cougars for three years followed by two years with the Medicine Hat Tigers. In 2001, Derek was drafted into the NHL by the Minnesota Wild. He spent a year playing with the Louisiana Ice Gators (ECHL) and two years with Houston Aeros (AHL). From 2005-2006 he spent his first NHL season playing with the Minnesota Wild where he played for five years and gained his title of the toughest player in the NHL. Minneapolis was a home away from home for Derek where he made many great friends. He was well loved and a fan favourite for many. The 2010-2011 season he moved to the big city and played with the New York Rangers. Derek was a strong person who battled a lot of adversity. He was a hero and a role model. Derek was a larger than life gentle giant. He was caring to everyone around him and a genuine son, brother, friend and teammate to many. A private service for family and close friends will held for Derek on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at the RCMP Depot Chapel (please use McCarthy Boulevard entrance). Derek was heavily involved with the communities he lived in. He was a part of Defending the Blue Line which is an organization that supports military families and also donates hockey equipment to children. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Boogaards Boogaurdians Memorial Fund or Defending the Blue Line, 1206 North Frontage Road, Suite B, Hastings, MN 55033. To leave an online message of condolence, please visit www.speersfuneralchapel.com