Tag: Derek Boogaard

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 7.15.52 AM

PHT Morning Skate: Leo Komarov shows off piano skills

1 Comment

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov is back in the NHL after spending last season with Dynamo in the KHL. Apparently he picked up some new off-ice skills while overseas. Komarov showed off his hands behind the piano this weekend. (via Petri Kontiola)

TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie explains the origins of corsi in his new book Hockey Confidential. (TSN)

Bruins’ beat writer Amalie Benjamin explored the handedness inside the Boston locker room over the weekend and offered up an insightful piece. Despite selling more left handed sticks in Canada and Europe, they sell more right handed sticks in the US. According to an industry expert, the split is somewhere from 60-65 percent left handed around the world, and 60-65 percent right handed in the US. (The Boston Globe)

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller is paying a little more attention to the voices of his new teammates so not to have a repeat performance of what happened after he was dealt from the Buffalo Sabres to the St. Louis Blues last season. (The Vancouver Sun)

As the LA Kings look to repeat as Stanley Cup champions in 2014-14, their biggest offseason acquisition is someone you will see or hear very little from. (The Hockey News)

New York Times reporter John Branch chronicles the downfall of enforcer Derek Boogaard in his new book Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard due out this week. (The Globe and Mail)

Report: Derek Boogaard’s family sues NHLPA for $9.8 million

Derek Boogaard

Derek Boogaard’s sad saga has reportedly taken another turn.

TMZ reports Boogaard’s family has filed a lawsuit against the NHLPA for failing to help them recover the balance on his contract with the New York Rangers.

According to USA Today, the players’ union has a bit of a different take on things.

“We are saddened to read reports that the parents of the late Derek Boogaard have filed a lawsuit against the NHLPA,” the union said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. “We have not been served with or seen a copy of the complaint, but we are confident that there is no meritorious claim that can be made against the NHLPA in regard to Derek’s tragic death.”

The union said they won’t be commenting further on the case.

Boogaard died last May due to a mix of pain killers and alcohol. His parents believe trainers and doctors were negligent by continuing to feed his addiction to pills.

Derek Boogaard’s father discovers how bad his son’s drug issues were

Derek Boogaard

Derek Boogaard’s tragic death due to a drug overdose was one that shocked most fans. For his family, they demanded answers to find out how their son managed to run into so many problems with painkillers.

Derek’s father Len, a 30-year member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as John Branch of the New York Times shares, found that his issues came from how easily he obtained drugs and how Boogaard’s long-term effects from prior abuse plagued him while in New York.

In a six-month stretch from October 2008 to April 2009, while playing 51 games, Boogaard received at least 25 prescriptions for the painkillers hydrocodone or oxycodone, a total of 622 pills, from 10 doctors — eight team doctors of the Wild, an oral surgeon in Minneapolis and a doctor for another NHL team.

Len Boogaard also notes that while with the Rangers, the team was told about Boogaard’s troubled past with narcotics but managed to prescribe hydrocodone for him to deal with pain stemming from dental work after getting re-injured in fights. Doctors also gave him numerous prescriptions for Ambien despite his addiction to sleeping pills in the past.

It’s an extensive and sad story to read and one that highlights how dangerous addiction can be, especially when it’s being enhanced by doctors trying to help someone get better.

PHT Morning Skate: Where the Kings want what the Lakers have

L.A. Lakers championship banners

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Kings share a space with the NBA’s L.A. Lakers and they’re rather jealous of those championship banners and would like to add one of their own. (OC Register)

The Devils haven’t had to travel by plane for a playoff game since knocking out Florida. Advantage: Kings? (The Star-Ledger)

Tim Thomas’ teammates in Boston reacted rather reasonably to the news he’s taking a year off for his family, friends, and faith. (CSNNE.com)

Could the Senators be shopping Sergei Gonchar around this summer? (Ottawa Citizen)

The New York Times has a damning look at the ease in which Derek Boogaard had access to pain killers both before and after he entered the league’s substance abuse program. (New York Times)

Oilers assistant coach Ralph Krueger could sneak in as a candidate for the head coaching job. He’s apparently a very intense worker. (Edmonton Sun)

Nail Yakupov visited Edmonton recently and has his sights set on being the No. 1 pick in the draft. (Oilers)

McGrattan on enforcer’s role: “I don’t come foaming at the mouth to fight”

New Jersey Devils v Nashville Predators

Josh Cooper of The Tennessean spoke with Preds forward Brian McGrattan about the recently released New York Times’ Derek Boogaard piece, which revealed Boogaard’s brain showed signs of degenerative brain disease CTE.

If anyone’s qualified to speak to the article, it’s McGrattan. He filled the same enforcer role Boogaard once did (McGrattan fought 39 times during the 2004-05 AHL season) and, like Boogaard, also spent time in the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program.

He spoke with Cooper about the dangers of getting hurt while fighting, his mental approach and the future of the enforcer role.

“Getting hurt to me, I don’t think about it, because if I start to think about it, then it will happen. I come to the rink – I don’t come foaming at the mouth to fight at night. If I fight during a game, I’ll think about it for about 30 seconds before I do it.

“I’ve heard of guys saying they can’t sleep the night before, can’t eat the day of. If you can’t do it, it’s obviously not the job for you. I do it the guys on the team need it, the fans like it. It’s just what I do. If I had a problem doing it and I couldn’t function an everyday normal life then I wouldn’t do it.

“I think they should just let it go with the enforcing. I don’t know how long hockey has been going for, but it has been going on since the dawn of hockey. I can’t see it going anywhere. I think they should let it be.”

That last sentiment is shared by a number of McGrattan’s peers. A recent ESPN poll showed 20 of 20 NHLers said fighting shouldn’t be banned, a sentiment that’s been confirmed in previous player polls. Many NHLers understand and accept the inherent dangers in their jobs — all jobs, including enforcers — something Washington’s Brook Laich spoke bluntly about following the Jay Beagle-Arron Asham fight:

“This is what we love to do,” he said. “Guys love to play, they love to compete, they want to be on the ice. How do you take that away from someone? We accept that there’s going to be dangers when we play this game. We know that every time we get dressed.

“I don’t know, sometimes it just feels like we’re being babysat a little too much. We’re grown men and we should have a say in what we want to do.”