Posted on May 14, 2011 · Posted in Brain Injury

Was New York Rangers hocky player Derek Boogaard’s death in any way linked to the concussion he sustained in December?

You can bet that’s the question that’s in everyone’s mind after the news broke Friday that the 28-year-old was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment. An autopsy was set for today, Saturday.

The New York Times Saturday characterized Boogaard as “one of the toughest fighters in the NHL.” When he joined the Rangers, he was quoted as saying, “I am not afraid to do what I do.” Maybe he should have been.

At 6-feet-7 and 265 pounds, Boogaard was built for the brutal game of hockey. He joined the Rangers last summer, after signing a $6.5 million contract, after playing for the Minnesota Wild.

According to The Times, Boogaard was involved in seven fights this season, and the last one, “the 70th of his NHL career,” resulting in a serious concussion. That took place Dec. 9 in a scrap with the Senators’ Matt Carkner.

Boogaard had been not been able to play since that fight, and he had been convalescing in Minnesota. He had complained to The Star-Tribune of Minneapolis that he had to wear sunglasses when he went outdoors because the sun bothered his eyes.

So why did he die? Did the concussions he suffered during his career, particularly the horrendous one last December, play a part in his death? Was he depressed after not being able to play most of the season?

Hopefully, we’ll have an answer soon.

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447