Tag: Derek Boogaard

L.A. Lakers championship banners

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


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.”

Report: Derek Boogaard dealt with issues related to Alzheimer’s disease

Derek Boogaard

A sad and stunning New York Times report reveals that studies of Derek Boogaard’s brain provided evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE is described as “a degenerative brain ailment related to Alzheimer’s disease that is caused by repeated blows to the head.”

One of the report’s most disturbing findings was that the disease was more pronounced in Boogaard (who died at age 28 and played in parts of six NHL seasons) than Bob Probert (who died at age 45 and played in parts of 16 NHL seasons). Dr. Ann McKee – one of the leading researchers – had this to say after studying Boogaard’s brain.

“To see this amount? That’s a ‘wow’ moment,” McKee said. “This is all going bad.”

It’s tough to argue with that point.