Derek Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment. He was just 28 years old.
No cause of death has been announced yet, though foul play was immediately ruled out.
The 6`7`` 265lb ``Boogeyman`` was as an intimidating a tough guy as I`ve ever seen in the National Hockey League. For me personally, I`d put him right up there with Bob Probert and Terry O`Reilly as one of those rare players who intimidated me right through my television set.
Though his job called for physicality, brutality and intimidation, all accounts have him as an overgrown teddy bear off the ice, with fondness for kids.
I remember 5 years ago when I first started hanging out with my girlfriend and her kids, Derek Boogaard played a tiny role in our lives. They knew nothing about hockey before I came along, but quickly learned that would be changing. The youngest girl took a liking to the Boogeyman, mostly because of his name than anything else. I got her a poster for her room and we even started to write him to see if we could get his autograph.
For whatever reason we never followed through with that. But my girlfriend actually kept the envelope I prepared to send to him, complete with the address. She kept it, and gave it back to me tonight.