Awful news. New York Rangers forward Derek Boogaard, one of the NHL's most feared fighters, has died.
The 28-year-old was found dead in his apartment by his family. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office in Minnesota confirmed those details and said an autopsy was pending.
"Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual," Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather said in a release. "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."
The Wild learned the tragic news of the death and released a statement on Boogaard's passing.
"The Minnesota Wild organization sends our deepest sympathies to the family of Derek Boogaard. Derek was a fan favorite during his five seasons with the Wild and will be greatly missed here in Minnesota and throughout the NHL. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Boogaard family during this tragic time of loss."
Here's Brent Burns joking around and interviewing Derek Boogaard when the two were excited new NHL'ers in Minnesota. Burns affection for Boogaard is crystal clear.
Georges Laraques, maybe the NHL's greatest fighter ever, called Boogaard his biggest rival. Senators defenceman Matt Carkner also had great respect for him and will forever be linked to Boogaard's final game. Carkner fought him in December and hit him so hard, it ended his season five months early.
This would be the final time we'd ever see him on an NHL ice surface. (with files from nhl.com)