Upon hearing news that Aaron Boogaard was arrested on prescription fraud and drug possession charges on Wednesday, his family implied that those charges weren’t related to the May 13 death of his brother, former NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard. It was hard to believe that Aaron’s charges weren’t in some way related to Derek’s death (which resulted from a toxic mixture of oxycodone and alcohol) and an updated report from the Minnesota Star-Tribune clarifies that there might have been a connection.
Paul Walsh reports that Aaron received two charges. The first is that he was in control of the painkillers that ultimately lead to his brother’s death. The other is for allegedly flushing the remaining pills down the toilet between the time he called about Derek’s death and the time authorities arrived. Here is a more literal explanation of the two charges filed today.
1. “Third degree sale of a controlled substance” – if convicted, it would be a felony.
2. “Interference with a death” – which would be a gross misdemeanor if convicted.
Here’s a bit more from Walsh’s report.
Aaron routinely supplied his brother with drugs, and “it is our understanding that Aaron kept his brother’s non-prescribed, illegal drugs and attempted to parcel them out on some kind of limited basis,” said County Attorney Mike Freeman.
“It’s a tragic situation,” Freeman added. “The family has already suffered significant loss. That doesn’t diminish the fact that it’s wrong — and in this case it was tragic — for him to give him that drug.”
A toxicologist found traces of Percocet, OxyContin and oxycodone along with alcohol in Derek Boogaard’s body, making it difficult to say which substance killed him. That’s the only reason, Freeman said, that Aaron Boogaard wasn’t charged with murder or manslaughter.
Derek died at the age of 28 and now Aaron – a 24-year old sixth round pick (175th overall) by the Minnesota Wild in 2004 – might not just see the potential conclusion of his hockey career, but also the possibility of serious legal ramifications for his role in this unfortunate incident. The saddest part might be that the incident reportedly happened the day after Derek left treatment for the very substance abuse problems that ended his life. One can only imagine how the Boogaard family must be going through right now.
Here is a statement from Boogaard’s attorneys, via Michael Russo.
“We are pleased that Aaron Boogaard is with his family, having been released from custody by both Hennepin County and U.S. immigration authorities. We will address the allegations in court rather than in the media, but note that Aaron was and remains devastated by his brother’s death. The entire Boogaard family has suffered tremendous loss and we ask that you respect their privacy as they continue to mourn the death of Derek.”
Meanwhile, the top prosecutor on the case said that Aaron Boogaard “should have known better” than to give his brother narcotics the day after he finished a rehab session.
Walsh reports that Aaron posted bail on Friday afternoon and will reportedly appear in district court on Monday. We’ll let you know what happens in this very sad situation.
Click here for more information about the complaint and some video related to the charges.
—Joel Armia has developed into a very useful player for the Winnipeg Jets, and on Tuesday night, he scored an incredible end-to-end goal that you won’t want to miss. He fought off one New Jersey Devil then got around two others before scoring this beautiful shorthanded goal. (Top)
–The Score breaks down the best “bang for your buck” contracts on each Canadian team. It’s not shocking to see Senators goalie Mike Condon on this list. The second-year netminder has been with three teams this season, but he’s come through in a big way for the Senators, and he only makes $575,000. (The Score)
–The ESPN Hockey writers put together a list of what they think the Vegas Golden Knights roster is going to look like after the expansion draft. Some well-known names like Andrew Cogliano, Jonas Brodin, Mikkel Boedker, Tomas Plekanec, Jonathan Marchessault, Carl Hagelin and Jakob Silfverberg all made the list. (ESPN)
–Elliotte Friedman’s “30 Thoughts” blog touched on some advice David Poile had for the Golden Knights now that the Oakland Raiders will be moving to Vegas. “You have to do your own thing. We created our ‘Predator Way.’ The Smashville idea and name. In-game entertainment fitting the market. Those things worked.” Friedman also wrote about Ken Hitchcock possibly returning to Dallas, and much more. (Sportsnet)
–Brampton Thunder forward Laura Stacey is the great-granddaughter of hall-of-fame defenseman King Clancy. Recently, Stacey decided she wanted to do a little digging into her great-grandfather’s career, and it really allowed her to get an appreciation for everything he accomplished. “Now I understand how hard he worked, how passionate and determined he was to be the best. Yes, it was a different era, but I can only imagine how hard he had to work to get where he was. As I get older, it makes it more special in that I know more the kind of guy he was.” (Canadian Press)
–The Montreal Canadiens have had some incredible defensemen come through their organization, but last night, Andrei Markov was able to reach an impressive milestone. By picking up an assist in a 4-1 win over Dallas, he tied Guy Lapointe for second in points by a defenseman in franchise history. Larry Robinson’s mark is pretty safe.
The New York Rangers weren’t ecstatic that Chris Tierney‘s 4-4 goal sent their game to overtime against the San Jose Sharks, but either way, getting beyond regulation punched their ticket to the playoffs on Tuesday night.
For the seventh season in a row, the Rangers are in the NHL’s postseason. They fell to the Sharks 5-4 in overtime, so they haven’t locked down the first wild-card spot in the East … yet. It seems like a matter of time, however.
The Rangers have now made the playoffs in 11 of their last 12 tries, a far cry from the barren stretch when they failed to make the playoffs from 1997-98 through 2003-04 (with the lockout season punctuating the end of that incompetent era).
New York has pivoted from the John Tortorella days to the Vigneault era, and this season has been especially interesting as they reacted to a 2016 first-round loss to the Penguins by instituting a more attacking style. The Metropolitan Division’s greatness has overshadowed, to some extent, how dramatic the improvement has been.
This result seems like a tidy way to discuss Tuesday’s other events.
The drama ends up being low for the Rangers going forward, and while there might be a shortage of life-or-death playoff struggles, the battles for seeding look to be fierce.
There’s something beautiful about the symmetry on Tuesday … unless you’re a Detroit Red Wings fan, maybe.
On the same night that the longest active NHL playoff streak ended at 25 for Detroit, the longest playoff drought concluded when the Edmonton Oilers clinched a postseason spot by beating the Los Angeles Kings 2-1.
The Oilers haven’t reached the playoffs since 2005-06, when Chris Pronger lifted them to Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.
In doing so, other dominoes fell. Both the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks also punched their tickets to the postseason.
The Sharks, of course, hope to exceed last season’s surprising run to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.
Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks continue their run of strong regular seasons, even as memories of their Cup win start to fade into the distance. All three teams are currently vying for the Pacific Division title.
The Western Conference’s eight teams are dangerously close to being locked into place, as the Nashville Predators, Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues are all close to looking down their spots as well.
Want the East perspective? Check out this summary of Tuesday’s events from the perspective of the other conference.
Members of the Ottawa Senators were quick to defend Craig Anderson following his blunder (see above) in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, and it’s easy to see why.
It’s not just about his personal struggles, either. When Anderson’s managed to play, he’s been flat-out phenomenal, generating a .927 save percentage that ranks near a Vezina-type level (if he managed to play more than 35 games).
Goaltending has been a huge reason why Ottawa has at least a shot of winning the Atlantic or at least grabbing a round of home-ice advantage, so unlike certain instances where teams shield a goalie’s failures, the defenses are absolutely justified.
Anderson, on the other hand, was very hard on himself.
You have to admire Anderson for taking the blame, even if in very much “hockey player” fashion, he’s not exactly demanding the same sort of credit for his great work this season.