Tag Archives: Derek Boogaard

Hold Your Cell Phones Up In The Air

If you’re not in a good mood today, something is seriously wrong with you (with the obvious exception of a tragic event or job loss or something of that ilk). The weather is gorgeous, your Minnesota Lynx are WNBA champions, the UMD Bulldogs now have a National Championship banner hanging from the rafters, the Gopher football team has managed to get on the board with a solid field goal in the Big Ten season.

The list goes on and on, but at the top of the list is tonight’s Wild home opener against the hated Columbus Blue Jackets.

The ceremony has already kicked off at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, which is the home of Task Force Wild. The troops raised their State of Hockey flag right next to the Minnesota flag, flying high over the base. If you missed the Wild.com story on Task Force Wild and their desert hockey games, read about it here.

It will be the official debut of Mike Yeo as Head Coach. It will be the first “real” look at the Wild’s newest additions, except Mike Lundin. It will be the NHL debut of Brett Bulmer. And plus, there’s all kinds of parties and goings on when you’re in and around the rink, so get downtown early this afternoon.

There will be a moment of silence and a ceremony to honor fallen Wild teammates, Derek Boogaard and Pavol Demitra prior to tonight’s game. Fans are encouraged to download this photo on their mobile devices and hold them up during the ceremony. To get the photo, you can text “tribute” to 83281, and it will be sent to your phone.

And speaking of Demitra, who was involved in the tragic plane crash in Russia that killed the members of the Lokomotiv team, you can support a great cause to help families of those that lost their lives. Wives of NHL players from across the NHL have banded together to sell “Love for Lokomotiv” bracelets with all of the proceeds going to the victim’s families. Click here to purchase a bracelet or a band.

Finally, I don’t know if you saw Greg Wyshynski’s outstanding Q & A with Minnesota’s own David Backes, but it’s worth a read. Note how passionate Backes is about head shots, and how he singles out Cal Clutterbuck and Dustin Brown as two guys who deliver big hits, but do it clean.

That’s going to do it from here until game time. Nik Backstrom gets the start in goal, and Justin Falk and Matt Kassian will be the healthy scratches. Happy Home Opener!

A Tough Day At Xcel Energy Center

People normally associate Gate 1 at Xcel Energy Center with good feelings. Typically, they’re about to experience a fun night at a Wild game, or a WCHA Final Five game or a concert or any other event. Sure, there are times when people leave disappointed after a loss by their favorite team, but those feelings dissipate rather quickly.

For the 350 people that attended a tribute to Derek Boogaard on Sunday, the feelings won’t disappear for awhile. It will be hard to erase the memory of watching his family members embrace each other as the tears flowed. It will be hard to forget how sad a person like Brent Burns looked. This is the guy who never seems to have an off switch on his “fun motor.” And it was eerie to walk into Gate 1, see a horde of people, and be able to hear a pin drop.

The night featured several speakers including: Chuck Fletcher, Wes Walz and members of Derek’s family. Obviously, watching his brothers and sister speak was enough to make the tears flow.

Several folks were available for comment after the program, but I for one did not feel comfortable asking anyone to speak about this tragedy at this point.  However, Wild.com will have video footage from the event posted tomorrow (Monday) so check that out if you were unable to attend on Sunday.

I will say how offended I was to see some speculation about Boogaard’s passing in some stories. There is a time and a place for that, and that’s when autopsy reports are revealed. Naturally, we are all curious, but now is the time to remember the joy that the Boogeyman brought to people’s lives and that is the spirit that the people who attended today’s events brought to the memorial.

There is nothing that can dissuade people that knew him from knowing that Derek Boogaard was a good person, unless he was punching you in the face during a hockey game. And it sounds like the guys he beat up seemed to realize that he wasn’t wishing them harm.

Boogaard wasn’t a member of the Wild when he died. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t going to be an empty feeling around here tomorrow, and at training camp and on Opening Night, and maybe when a guy like Brad Staubitz tangles with an opponent.

Boogaard was adored here. He was the rare athlete that could leave as a free agent and still be beloved by the fans of his former team. Only certain players get those free passes, and those are the ones that bust their butts for their team, show courage on the ice and reveal that they are genuinely caring people away from the arena.

I can’t think of any other way to wrap this up. I can only speak for myself when I say Derek was so good to me whenever I dealt with him. I’m willing to bet I’ll go my whole life, and not hear anyone tell me different.

So long, Boogeyman.

Boogaard Memorial Tonight At 6:00 PM

As the tragic news spread of Derek Boogaard’s passing on Friday night and into the weekend, there was not surprisingly an outpouring of sadness all over North America, and especially in Minnesota.

Boogey’s fans or friends or both, let their sadness be known all over the internet on social media, message boards and websites. Tonight, many fans will get to come together thanks to an online effort from Wild fans to establish a Derek Boogaard Memorial tonight outside Xcel Energy Center. The event will take place outside Gate 1 with a short program beginning at 6PM and lasting for about thirty minutes.

Boogaard’s family will be in attendance, although they are understandably asking for privacy.