MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Former Minnesota Wild forward Derek Boogaard was found dead in Minneapolis Friday night.

According to the Wild, the body of Boogaard, 28, was found in his apartment.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner confirmed that Boogaard’s body was found at 6:10 p.m. Friday. His cause of death remains under investigation by Minneapolis police, and the medical examiner’s office said Saturday that information on his death likely won’t be released for several weeks. WCCO-TV called the Boogaard’s family home in Canada on Saturday, and a person who answered said family members are on the way to Minnesota and could make a statement on Saturday.

Called the “Boogieman” by Wild fans, Boogaard was the team’s enforcer and crowd favorite before moving on to the New York Rangers.

Boogaard signed a four-year, $6.5 million deal with Rangers in July and appeared in 22 games with them last season. He had a goal and an assist to go with 45 penalty minutes.

One of the most feared fighters in the league, Boogaard missed the last 52 games of the regular season with a concussion and shoulder injury and did not play in the playoffs.

Boogaard began his NHL career with Minnesota and appeared in 255 games with the Wild from 2005-10.

“The Minnesota Wild organization sends our deepest sympathies to the family of Derek Boogaard,” team said in a statement. “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.”

In 277 regular-season games with Minnesota and the Rangers over six seasons, he had three goals and 13 assists and 589 penalty minutes.

The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native was Minnesota’s seventh-round choice, 202nd overall, in the 2001 draft.

It is the second death of a player in the Rangers organization in the past three years. Alexei Cherepanov, chosen by New York with the 17th overall pick in the 2007 draft, died in Chekhov, Russia, on Oct. 13, 2008, after collapsing on the bench during a KHL game while playing with Avangard Omsk. The 19-year-old Cherepanov didn’t sign with the Rangers and never played in the NHL.

Roman Lyashenko, who briefly played with the Rangers several years ago, was found dead in a hotel room in Turkey while on vacation in 2003. His death was believed to be a suicide.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (27)
  1. Hockey Guy says:

    My thoughts are with his family. I am very sad to hear of this. My kids loved watching him play.

  2. John Cunningham says:

    so sad. he was a real teammate, and friend. he will surely leave a mark on nhl history. R.I.P

  3. Trevor says:

    I am 19 and as a fan of his ever since the Wild called him up, he will be deeply missed not only in the State of Hockey but the whole NHL. Thanks Boogaard for being an entertaining player Rest In Peace my friend!

  4. Chris Hayes-Sandstrom says:

    Too young, very sad.

  5. Brian says:

    he will be sadly missed , we loved him, i went to games because of him

  6. Matt says:

    RIP Boogieman, Thanks for the memories.

  7. jon says:

    i feel sadness. great player and guy to all hockey fans. my heart goes out to his family. he was a household name to everybody in minnesota. we will be missed

  8. JustMe says:


  9. Dawn Erickson Myhre says:

    I am so sad. Boogaard was my favorite player to watch. Even after being traded from the Wild, I wore my Minnesota Wild Boogaard jersey to work every Friday PROUDLY. A True Hockey Player R.I.P.

  10. parrishrules says:

    crying after hearing the news. He was a great guy & will be missed by all!

  11. Kyle Migneault says:

    R.I.P. Boogieman you were such a great player you will be missed by several people and wild fans but you are in a better place. May God be with the Boogaard Family during this time of loss. God Bless

  12. Paul H. Krumrei says:

    We will miss you man! RIP!

  13. Eileen says:

    could it have been related to his battle with concussions? I am so saddened by this.

  14. Sad Fan says:

    My guess is Cardiac Arrest. Typically, healthy 28 yr olds don’t just die. It could have been caused by several factors. We’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, sympathies to his family, friends and fans.

  15. Michael Mroz Polley says:


  16. Mark says:

    Sooooo, how did he die?

  17. Shannon says:

    RIP Boogey Man. My condolences go out to his family and friends. Today was not a good day for Minnesota sports fans…first the news about Harmon Killebrew, followed by Boogaard’s passing.

  18. Mzzed says:

    RIP: BOOGIEMMAN! U will me MISSED!!!

  19. zee the reporter says:

    you talk about Derek Boogaard you think of the minnesota wild he left a tradmark on the team! great man RIP~zee reporting!

  20. Very Sad says:

    BOOGAARD MEMORIAL. Sunday night at the Xcel energy center. 6 pm at gate 1. Bring candles and memories. Please post this somewhere as fans are trying to spread the word to let all know.

  21. Phil Mcrackin says:

    He sure did add some excitement to the game, so sad he is gone.

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