New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard was found dead Friday in his Minneapolis apartment. He was 28. The team announced Boogaard's death Friday night, but gave no details.
The Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis first reported Boogaard was found dead in his home by members of his family. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office in Minnesota confirmed those details and said an autopsy was pending,
An autopsy to determine the cause of death will be performed on Boogaard, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office.
Unfailingly cordial and very popular among his teammates and peers throughout the league, Boogaard had an unhappy season with the Rangers that was cut short after just 22 games when the winger, who was signed to a four-year, $6.5 million free agent contract last summer based on his pugilistic exploits, suffered a concussion in a Dec. 9 fight in Ottawa with Matt Carkner.
Boogaard, who completed the season with one goal, one assist, 45 penalty minutes and seven fights in 45 games, had begun to skate on his own toward the end of the season, but management sent him home with about a week remaining because of unspecified issues.
"Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual," Sather said in a statement released last night by the team. "He was a very thoughtful person who will be missed by all those who knew him.
"We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time,"