Like anyone else I scan my e-mail throughout the day. The e-mails I receive are normally from readers sending along a link or another blogger looking to do a link swap. But yesterday, after logging into my account, a particular e-mail caught my eye. It was from one of Derek Boogaard's younger brothers, Ryan, with the subject "Gratitude."
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..."Hey Kevin,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.
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