Kind move here from Minnesota d-man Mathew Dumba, who will be switching from No. 55 to No. 24 this season:
Got an email from Len Boogaard saying Matt Dumba called him last week asking permission to wear Derek’s #mnwild 24. “Classy kid,” Len wrote
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) July 28, 2015
Boogaard, who passed away in 2011 from an accidental drug and alcohol overdose, wore No. 24 in Minnesota from 2006-10 and emerged as something of a cult figure, thanks in large part to his pugilistic skills.
His jersey eventually became one of the Wild’s top sellers.
Two other players have since worn No. 24 for Minnesota — Martin Havlat and, most recently, Matt Cooke. Like Dumba, Cooke reached out to Boogaard’s family to get their blessing.
“The team told me they’re OK with me wearing it because Marty [Havlat] wore it after [Boogaard],” Cooke said, per the Star-Tribune. “I don’t really feel comfortable putting it on without his mum and dad’s blessing. I’ve sent emails off to them. I want to let them know that by putting it on I’m absolutely not doing anything disrespectful. It’s been my only number in the NHL, but at the end of the day, I don’t want anyone’s feelings hurt.
“I don’t want anyone to think that I am being disrespectful and I want to make sure I take care of that before I even entertain the thought of putting it on.”
Cooke was bought out of the final year of his deal last month, which paved the way for Dumba to inherit No. 24.