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.
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.
Jonas Hiller was steaming mad after the Ducks lost to the Wild last night. Is it so bad losing to the top team in the NHL? (OC Register)
Yes, it’s true. The Wild are the very best in the league now after their victory. Seriously. (Russo’s Rants)
If you haven’t read the New York Times’ piece on Derek Boogaard titled “A Boy Learns to Brawl” you really should. (New York Times)
Nashville’s defense is to blame for their recent skid? Everyone except Shea Weber and Ryan Suter of course. (Tennessean)
Make it three wins in a row for the Avalanche. See, they put wins together without threatening Joe Sacco’s job. (All Things Avs)
Both Henrik Karlsson and Miikka Kiprusoff were run over by Canucks forwards in the Flames’ 5-1 loss to Vancouver. Open season on goalies, indeed. (Flames)
Things are slowly plodding along with the sale of the St. Louis Blues to Matthew Hulsizer. (Post-Dispatch)
Jared Cowen is starting to get his game figured out in Ottawa. As for David Rundblad… (Ottawa Sun)
Valtteri Filppula could be in a bit of trouble after getting his leg cut by a skate against Colorado. (Detroit Free Press)
Finally, while the Wings lost to Colorado 4-2 to snap a seven-game win streak, it wasn’t without a little bit of magic from Pavel Datsyuk courtesy of his feed to Johan Franzen. (NHL)
Prior to tonight’s Wild-Flames tilt at the Xcel Energy Center, Minnesota will pay tribute to Derek Boogaard with a special video presentation.
Here’s a brief video tease featuring Andrew Brunette, Boogaard’s former Wild teammate:
The Wild announced earlier last week that Boogaard’s parents, sister and two brothers will be in attendance for the ceremony. The organization will also unveil a donation to Defending The Blue Line, a nonprofit charity that helps children of military members play hockey.
UPDATE: Here’s the video in full.
UPDATE 2: Here’s the pregame ceremony video.
Derek Boogaard’s sad passing this summer due to an alcohol and painkiller overdose has seen the Rangers pay tribute to him in the form of a video and will now see the Minnesota Wild go the extra mile to pay respects to him.
The Wild be honoring Boogaard before they drop the puck at home against Calgary on November 27. Boogaard’s family will be in attendance and they’ll be showing a tribute video of their own showing what Boogaard did for the Wild on and off the ice. While he was a brutal enforcer on the ice, his charity work with Defending The Blue Line might be his greatest legacy.
The Wild were the team Boogaard was best associated with and while his time with the Rangers turned out to be short, he was a folk hero of sorts in Minnesota. Having this evening of closure should prove to be a needed emotional release for all involved.
There’s plenty going on around the hockey world. Last night, the defending Stanley Cup champs returned to the ice and the Canucks and Penguins faced-off in a potential Stanley Cup finals preview. Today the NHL featured games in Sweden and Finland; Jeff Carter started a new chapter of his career in Columbus and Paul MacLean started his new gig behind the bench for Ottawa. But the hockey world wasn’t isolated to the ice tonight—as tentacles of the hockey world stretched all the way to Milwaukee and the National League Divisional Series.
Tonight Nyjer Morgan etched his name in Milwaukee sports lore as his 10th inning RBI vaulted the Brewers to their first series win in almost three decades. But how close was Morgan to delivering open ice hits instead of game-winning base hits? A lot closer than you may think.
Before anyone knew the name T-Plush, Morgan was a speedy forward from Northern California for the BCHL’s Saint George Spruce Kings. He eventually ended up playing seven games for the Regina Pats in the Western Hockey League and even played on the same team as Derek Boogaard. Despite scoring a pair of goals in his first game with the Pats, he was eventually released and ended up back in baseball (where he’d eventually catch the eye of baseball scouts).
Morgan told NHL.com that he’s the same type of baseball player as he was on the hockey rink:
“I’ve always been that type of person. A high-energy person. When I step between the lines, I play hard for whomever I’m playing for. Just like that little pest on the ice, going around and giving people the business, like Sean Avery. Just going around and being that little pest but still being able to play your game and get a ‘W’ for your boys.”
Some things never change. The guy is still a little pest and after tonight, it’s apparent that he’s still trying to get the “W” for his boys. Now the Brewers head to the NLCS against the surprising St. Louis Cardinals while the NHL season gets underway all over North America. As soon as the Brewers’ season ends, you can be sure that Morgan will be right back to following the sport that he chased all the way to British Columbia back in his teen years:
“Everybody was busting my chops because I started dropping ‘eh’s’ on people. After that, I missed the game but I still follow it and still see a couple of the guys I played with or against. Now I’m just a die-hard hockey fan.”
Anyone that saw his celebration and excitement after his game-winning hit can tell he made the right choice. After all, Regina, Saskatchewan may have been the closest he ever got to the NHL. Obviously the man is thriving with his career choice.
But here’s the real question: if the Brewers make it to the promise land and win it all, will he be disappointed that he doesn’t get to lift the Stanley Cup?