Before even opening it I began to feel an overwhelming sense of joy as the one thing that I always felt was missing from the Derek Boogaard Memorial Logo t-shirt process was the approval of the Boogaard family. I had been told by representatives from Defending the Blue Line that the family was aware of our endeavor but I was never able to reach out to them.
So I opened it with much anticipation and this is what I read...
I'm one of Derek's younger brother's and I'd like to express our families gratitude for what you have done by raising money for Defending the Blue Line.
I had been reading your blog off and on since Derek signed as a free agent in New York last summer but after his passing, I just couldn't watch hockey or read about it. I decided on draft day to check out your blog and that's when I saw what you were doing to raise money in Derek's memory. I love the shirts, they are very tastefully done, considering the circumstances, and I bought three, my father bought two and after posting the link as my Facebook status, some of my closest friends were able to get the shirts as well."
As soon as I read that both Ryan and his father bought some t-shirts, I've got to be honest, I got pretty emotional. For the family to not only appreciate what we were doing but to also purchase some of the shirts makes this all worthwhile. BTW, how awesome is it that Ryan reads the blog?
Ryan then went on to explain how the Rangers were a team Derek really wanted to play for and jumped at the chance when they offered him a contract.
But the one part of his e-mail that I wanted to make sure I passed along to Rangers fans was this...
"Derek knew he had a bad season in New York and he was upset that he let a lot of people down, including the fans. Back in February, he text me and asked me what I thought was going to happen to him with the Rangers. I'm a very honest person and I told him that he is going to need to have to go into camp next season in the best shape of his life or I could see him going on waivers. He started to workout very hard and was texting me about how "jacked" he was getting so I'm upset that you guys in New York did not get the chance to see what Derek could really bring to the table because when he was on his game, he could really have an effect on that game."
I have said numerous times on the blog that I felt there was still a role for Boogaard on the Rangers and it looked like he felt that way as well. Which makes his death all the more tragic.
My sincere thanks to Ryan to reaching out to me.
Good for you Kevin. It's great to see your hard work paying off not only for us fans, but for the family members of a person victim to tragedy. Great job.
Wow, do I feel truly honored to be apart of all this. I can't wait for my shirt to arrive, and hang it next to my jersey. I found a guy is willing make this a single patch for me as well and I am going to sew it on the other shoulder opposite the 85th anniversary patch, I think it will finish it off nicely. I'll send pics, but may be awhile. Thanks again for the opportunity, and for everyone's votes. RIP Boogaard
Congratulations Kevin - this is just awesome, and its been awesome for all of us to be involved with this project and focus our sadness toward a positive end. I can't wait to get my shirt!
Great job, Kevin. If anyone deserves praise, it's you. You do a great job keeping the blog updated and you are my number 1 reference for Rangers news. On top of that, you care about your followers and you clearly have compassion for loved ones lost. Keep up the great work. Chris
Just an FYI on the T-shirts, Glass Bangers is just tracking down a few fans who forgot to indicate their shirt size then they will begin production of the shirts. You should have them in a couple of weeks.
I've registered for the first time today, after being a long time reader. I love the blog you have here Kevin, I think it is wonderful.
I registered because I too, wanted to show my gratitude. I can't wait to receive my shirt and wear it proudly. It is beyond unfortunate that we were unable to see Derek in top form. He really could have been a difference maker, he proved as much as a part of the Wild. I know it will never be the same for the Boogaard family, but I wish them quick healing.
Thanks again to all those who participated in the logo contest, to Glass Bangers, to Defending the Blue Line, Kevin, and the Boogey family.
Thanks for sharing.
Ryan, if you're reading this, I'm very sorry for your loss.
I've been a big fan of Derek's for a long time, even before he became a NYR. I'm a big fight fan and watching Derek was a treat. The day he became a NYR I was excited to see him on a nightly basis. I only wish we could get to see more of Boogaard next year and for years to come. I'll never forget that Ducks/Wild game where Boogaard was sent out onto the ice with the fans chanting his name, that still gives me chills when I watch it on Youtube. I know for a fact that Derek would've came back bigger and better this coming season. He was a warrior on the ice and by all accounts a great guy off the ice. He'll be missed. I'm not just saying this because it's the right thing to say, Boogaard was one of the most dominant fighters this sport has ever seen - it's just unfortunate that he didn't get to dominate for a lot longer! RIP Boogey Man
You should be proud that you're not only producing a blog people want to read but actually making a difference in someone's life with it. It's not easy to do either, and you're doing both. Congratulations.
That's great, Kevin.
There were no doubts in my mind that we were all going to see a new and improved Boogard this year. Last summer Torts told him he needed to lose some weight and he started work right away, but then to be sidelined with that concussion,...
Everything I've heard pointed toward a new Boogaard coming back to camp and I was looking forward to it along with countless Rangers fans.
Condolnces, once again, to friends and family...
@JakeB Thanks Jake I appreciate the kind words.
@ChristopherDecker Thanks Chris.
@Lauren D. That's awesome. Thanks Lauren!
Can you provide that youtube link?
Thanks I really appreciate it. My favorite part of the blog is interacting with the readers and getting everyone to rally around something whether it's the Rangers, getting Avery in the All Star game or in this case the most important thing I've done honoring a great man while making a difference.
I agree with John completely. This whole thing was set up by Kevin out of the goodness of his heart and even more admirably 100% of profits were donated to Derek's favorite organization. It was a creative way to honor Derek while raising money for a charity he supported. I will wear my T-Shirt with pride when it arrives. @KevinDeLury
@BrentG Thanks Brent.