Ryan Boogaard issues statement standing up for brother Aaron

Life for the Boogaard family of late has been more difficult than most families will see in a generation. From the death of former Wild and Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard to the arrest of Derek’s brother Aaron on charges of prescription drug fraud and possession in connection with Derek’s death it’s been a traumatic time for the family.

The Boogaard’s have a third brother, Ryan, who has laid low through all this of late but he’s not staying quiet much longer. After what’s happened with Aaron Boogaard of late, Ryan isn’t keep quiet any longer and is speaking up to support Aaron through his most trying of times.

Michael Russo of The Star Tribune out of Minneapolis shared a statement from Ryan in which he tries to help clear his brother’s name as he deals with legal problems.

Although I cannot make specific comments as to proving or disproving the allegation’s against Aaron while the matter is before the court, I can say that our family fully supports him and we are disappointed in both the Minneapolis Police Department and Hennepin County Prosecution Office in their decision to prosecute him.

Aaron had fully cooperated with their investigation and now, just over two months after losing his big brother and still grieving, he will have to endure very public legal proceedings.

Aaron has never sold prescribed and non prescribed painkillers, never bought prescribed and non prescribed painkillers and Aaron does not abuse prescribed and non prescribed painkillers. The prosecutions office did not disclose all the details surrounding the investigation but for me [to] go into more detail about this would go against my previous statement about not commenting to prove or disprove the allegations and Aaron gets his day in court so it can all come to fruition at that time.

In summary, there is more than what has been released to the media.

The case against Aaron Boogaard is one that adds an immense amount of sadness to what happened with Derek and helps explain how dangerous addiction can be. Obviously if Aaron’s problems are related to Derek’s death in any way, it makes the entire situation wholly depressing as it all could’ve been avoided so much easier.

Ryan coming forth like this to stick up for his brother does show that he’s doing his part to defend his honor and help him save face in the wake of all this tragedy. Everyone is always innocent until proven guilty, of course, and Aaron’s charges do make things look especially bad. We’re hoping that things don’t turn out the way they’re made to appear, however, and that way the Boogaard family can go back to handling life on their own terms.

Losing Neal to Vegas was a ‘pretty big price to pay’ for Predators

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The Vegas Golden Knights named their team on Wednesday, and it was no surprise that James Neal was among their selections in the expansion draft.

Why not? Since entering the league in 2008, Neal has scored at least 20 goals in each of his nine seasons, hitting the 40-goal mark in 2011-12 as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

But after coming up two wins shy of a Stanley Cup this spring, Neal was left unprotected by the Predators.

Predators general manager David Poile had reportedly been in talks with Vegas GM George McPhee, but a deal couldn’t be achieved.

“With how well we played in the playoffs, I’d certainly like to bring everybody back, but the prices [to make a deal with Vegas] were very high,” Poile told the Predators website.

“[McPhee] was looking for younger players or high draft picks, and at the end of the day, I just felt that we had to do what the Expansion Draft was set out to do and that was to lose a player. In this case, we lost James Neal and that’s a pretty big price to pay.”

Neal has one more year left on his six-year contract that has an annual cap hit of $5 million, before he’s a pending unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.

Nashville has about $22.7 million in cap space, per CapFriendly, but five pending restricted free agents — Austin Watson, Frederick Gaudreau, Pontus Aberg and most notably Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson — in need of contracts. In Arvidsson’s case, he’s due for a significant raise from the $640,000 he made in NHL salary last season, in which he scored 31 goals and 61 points.

“James had a much bigger contract and he only had one year left before he was an unrestricted free agent. We didn’t have any negotiations, but there was no guarantees that we would be able to keep him. It really was a business decision. It was as simple as that,” Poile the Tennessean.

Caps re-sign Christian Djoos, who could get his NHL shot next season

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The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Christian Djoos to a two-year, $1.3 million contract.

It’s a two-way deal in 2017-18, and a one-way deal the following season.

Djoos, 22, is expected to push for an NHL spot next season, along with Madison Bowey and possibly Tyler Lewington.

That’s because Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk, both unrestricted free agents, aren’t expected to re-sign with Washington.

On top of that, the Caps lost d-man Nate Schmidt in yesterday’s expansion draft.

Djoos, a seventh-round pick in 2012, had 13 goals and 45 assists in 66 games for AHL Hershey this past season.

It was his second full season in the AHL.

Bettman says NHL will call more slashes next season

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Commissioner Gary Bettman says the NHL will look to enforce slashing penalties more next season.

Following the league’s board of governors meeting, Bettman said pointless slashes to players’ hands will be called more. Ottawa’s Marc Methot and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau were among the players to miss time last season with hand injuries from slashes.

Related PHT coverage:

Gaudreau (finger) out six weeks, Treliving says Staal slash the culprit

— Flames made ‘mountain out of a molehill’ over Gaudreau slash

— Methot ‘out for weeks’ after suffering a shattered finger from Crosby slash

— Melnyk blasts ‘whiner’ Crosby, who won’t face hearing for Methot slash

Report: Vegas sends Trevor van Riemsdyk to Hurricanes

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Here. We. Go.

According to Frank Seravalli of TSN, the Vegas Golden Knights have sent defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Van Riemsdyk was among 15 defensemen taken by the Golden Knights in Wednesday’s expansion draft, however, general manager George McPhee made a point of saying that, as a result of having this sudden surplus at the position, he was going to have to move some of those blue liners.

McPhee has been busy over the past few days, making deals with a number of teams ahead making his expansion selections, stockpiling draft picks, including three in the top 15 of the first round.

More to come.