Larry Brooks at the New York Post reports that Boogaard had been receiving counseling in the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse & Behavioral Health Program in the weeks prior to his death last night.
Sources close to the situation stressed it would not only be unfair to draw inferences from Boogaard's participation in the program as to the cause of his death, but that everyone who had been in recent contact with the universally popular athlete was impressed with his positive attitude and shocked to learn of his passing.
...this may explain why the Rangers suddenly sent Boogaard home before the playoffs.
Update, 2:18 p.m.:
Ryan Callahan quote on Boogaard (via Rangers Rants)...
"It's unfortunate, it makes you realize how precious the time you have is," Callahan said. "You realize you have to cherish friends and family and realize what you have. I knew Boogey was excited to come back and contribute after a tough year. It's a tough loss for the team but I'm not thinking about hockey. I'm thinking about his friends and family and what they have to go through."
Update, 1:42 p.m.:
Via TSN, Hennepin County Medical Examiner spokeswoman Carol Allis said authorities probably wouldn't release results of Boogaard's autopsy for at least two weeks.
Allis said in cases where there are no obvious signs of physical trauma or an obvious immediate cause of death, it can take time for authorities to receive results of laboratory tests. Allis added that the medical examiner's office doesn't anticipate that it will release preliminary autopsy findings until all results are in.
Minneapolis police Sgt. Bill Palmer said authorities do not suspect foul play at this point, but the police department's homicide unit and the medical examiner's office are both investigating. Palmer said the medical examiner will determine the final cause of death.
...interesting that there was no obvious immediate cause of death. That rules out a lot of things.
Update, 1:19 p.m.:
Chris Drury released this statement on behalf of the Rangers players (via Blueshirts United)...
"On behalf of all Derek's teammates, I would like to say that he was a great friend and a great teammate and that we are all going miss him dearly. This is a tragic loss for the hockey community. All of our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family"
Update, 12:28 p.m.:
Here's the charitable side of Boogaard that we didn't always get the chance to see (via Blueshirts United)...
Update, 12:10 p.m.:
Jesse Spector tweets that the Minneapolis medical examiner says the Boogaard autopsy results will take a couple of weeks.
...unfortunately, this will lead to weeks of erroneous speculation on the cause of death.
Update, 9:37 a.m.:
Touching piece on Boogaard by Russo on his blog at Minnesota Star Tribune.
Update, 8:47 a.m.:
Minnesota Wild fans will be holding a memorial service tomorrow morning at the Xcel Center at 6pm.
...it's too bad Rangers fans didn't get to know Boogaard the way Wild fans did.
Update, 8:26 a.m.:
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed an autopsy would be conducted today.
Update, 2:01 a.m.:
RIP Boogie Man...
Update, 1:08 a.m.:
Brandon Prust tweets his condolences to his roomy.
Update, 12:57 a.m.:
Boogaard was brought to New York for his fisticuffs but I think this was his signature moment with the Rangers...
Update, 12:45 a.m.:
Michael Del Zotto tweeted out his condolences.
Update, 12:28 a.m.:
Michael Russo at the Minneapolis Star Tribune has more including this text message Boogaard sent last week...
"disappointed a lot of people. So I gotta work my [butt] off this summer so I can get back to what I was doing in Minny, you know?"
...i have been saying that I thought there was still a role for Boogaard on the Rangers moving forward and by the above text it sounded like he was determined to make that happen.
Jesse Spector at the Daily News reports that Derek Boogaard was found dead Friday in Minneapolis at the age of 28.
The Minneapolis medical examiner's office said Friday night that foul play was not suspected, but that an investigation was under way.
The Rangers released this statement from Glen Sather...
"Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual," Sather said. "He was a very thoughtful person, who will be dearly missed by all those who knew him. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time."
...absolutely stunned. My condolences go out to the Boogaard family.
...assuming we're going to hear a lot more about what happened in the next few days and weeks.
He was a passionate warrior, he was coming into his own as a real hockey player and being more than just a goon. I was impressed with his work on the 4th line and I wish he got more time.
I am sure it was a series of head and physical pain maybe also involved with medical overdose? Its truly sad to see, and this is why the NHL must review its rules with head hits, and fighting.
I for one believe fighting should be allowed, but sometimes Boogard was being forced into a couple of fights a night on top of being a grinder.
What a shame. Because he had a tough year it sounded like he was planning on a big comeback. That would have been so great to see. Really sad news.
I'm at a loss for words. I was really excited to see him play next season, and this just sunk my heart. R.I.P. Derek. You will be greatly missed.
Shiiiiiiiiiit. RIP. Sigh. So sad. I saw the Wild at the Garden this year and I saw so many Boogy jerseys. Wish we got to know him as the Wild fans did.
I just cant imagine him dead, i was never a huge fan of his but this breaks my heart, have some class people the cap space was so far from my mind until u brought it up
I hope his death had nothing to do with his concussions, or him trying to come back to early. Just so tragic...
Maybe it is a little tacky to talk about cap space, but I GUARANTEE every one of you thought about it within 5 minutes of hearing about this poor bastards death. So pipe down on the righteous indignation.
Man just woke up to the sad news, RIP big fella, you seemed like a good guy & someone I wanted to see on our team :(
And really, this isn't the time to be speaking about cap space ffs!
want to share the link where he scored the goal.....keep getting some commercial with it first.....can't believe it. crying a little bit, not sure what to think. find out more in the morning i guess.....
KingBadaBing- smarten up! now is not the time or place to bust chops on Sather. A Man died today, a man that was dedicated to his new team, teammates, and new city. It's not the time to take pot shots at Sather and the cap.
awful news to wake up with... Earlier this week there was the passing of a cyclist in the giro... tough week.
Boogaard, the friendly giant as many call him, will def be missed.
Really sad about this. Terrible thing. Kind of ironic how the Boogieman dies on friday the 13th. But terrible none the less. Sather's probably excited that he cleared some cap space. Although I don't think he wanted him to die. Really awful though. I just hope it wasn't a suicide.
@CaseyACoyle That would be the worst result and one I'm praying isn't the reason.
@AnnoyingJoe It's the elephant in the room for sure.
@KingBadaBing Not sure Sather is excited about anything right now. No need to speculate. We'll find out soon enough.
@VincentZigarelli Just awful.