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.

WATCH LIVE: Game 1 for Penguins – Capitals, Rangers – Senators

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It’s really happening.

For all the griping about having the Penguins and Capitals meet in the second round (again), it’s easy to forget the bright side: upsets didn’t dislodge this juicy matchup from taking place.

The West’s duo of Game 1 matchups kicked into gear last night, and now the East provides that battle between Sidney Crosby‘s squad and Alex Ovechkin‘s loaded team. Don’t sleep on Rangers – Senators, either, though; there should be plenty of intrigue in seeing superhuman Swedes Henrik Lundqvist and Erik Karlsson try to one-up each other.

Here’s what you need to know to follow the action:

New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Network: CNBC (Stream online here)

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)

Sutter won’t retire from coaching, willing to join a rebuild

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Given he turns 59 this summer, has won a pair of Stanley Cups and coached over 1,000 NHL games, Darryl Sutter probably could’ve called it a career after getting fired by the Kings earlier this month, and done so comfortably.

But that’s not happening.

In speaking with TSN’s Gary Lawless, Sutter said he has no plans to retire from coaching. What’s more — and, perhaps more interesting — is that Sutter said he wouldn’t limit his next job solely to a contending team.

Currently, there are just two vacant coaching gigs in Buffalo and Florida. We wrote about the Panthers’ search earlier today (more on that here). The situation in Buffalo is more complex, as the Sabres need to hire a new general manager and coach. Logic suggests the GM will be hired first, then spearhead the new bench boss hire.

In that regard, Buffalo is pretty intriguing.

Though the Kings have yet to be contacted for an interview request, ex-GM Dean Lombardi has been tied to the Sabres gig. And Lombardi, of course, is forever tied to Sutter — he was the one that hired Sutter after a five-year coaching exodus to join the Kings, and the pair went on to achieve great success together.

That five-year coaching exodus does need to be mentioned, though.

History suggests that Sutter isn’t joking when he says he’ll be picky about the situation and won’t rush to find the right fit. After being dismissed in Calgary in 2006, he returned to work on the family farm in Viking, Alberta and seemed fairly content doing so.

That said, hockey always seems to draw him back.

“The game has given us everything,” Sutter told Lawless. “We still have lots to give.”

Coyotes fire assistant coach Newell Brown

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The Arizona Coyotes have parted ways with some personnel.

Assistant coach Newell Brown has been fired, along with Doug Soetaert, who was the general manager of their AHL affiliate in Tuscon.

Pro scouts David MacLean and Jim Roque won’t be back either. Their contracts will not be renewed.

“I’d like to thank Newell, Doug, David and Jim for their contributions to the club,” said GM John Chayka. “They are all good people but we believe these changes are necessary in order to improve our organization. We wish them the best in the future.”

A longtime NHL assistant coach, Brown is perhaps the most prominent of the four men. He joined the Coyotes in the summer of 2013 and received high praise for his work with their power play.

But Arizona’s power play slipped to 26th this past season, converting at a rate of just 16.2 percent.

As for Soetaert, he was only named GM of the Roadrunners last summer. The former NHL goalie had previously been a scout.

Plenty of seats available for tonight’s game in Ottawa

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The Ottawa Senators say they’re still expecting a full house, but Ticketmaster’s website shows plenty of available seats for tonight’s second-round opener with the New York Rangers.

From the Ottawa Citizen:

Many of the available tickets for Thursday’s game were in the corners of the upper bowl, seats that carry a $96 price tag.

The Senators sold out all three games in the opening round of the playoffs against Boston. Game 1 drew a crowd of 18,702, while 18,629 showed up for Game 2 and 19,209 were in the seats for Game 5.

Attendance has been an issue in Ottawa — or, more specifically, suburban Kanata — all season, to the point owner Eugene Melnyk expressed great frustration with the lack of sellouts at Canadian Tire Centre.

Poor attendance also led to friction behind the scenes. At least, it sure sounded that way in the lawsuit that was filed against the team by its former chief marketing officer.

Poor attendance is why the Sens are trying to get a new downtown arena built. They believe that a more central location is the key to bigger crowds.

But regardless of the arena’s location, it won’t be a good look if there are empty seats tonight. This is the playoffs, and the Senators are one of eight remaining teams in the hunt for the Stanley Cup. The building should be full.

Related: Melnyk thinks Sens can make deep playoff run