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Posts tagged: Derek Boogaard

Derek Boogaard; RIP

When something as tragic as Derek Boogaard’s death happens it puts everything else into context. In the world of hockey contract negotiations, who’s coming or going to a club and results on the ice all become secondary when remembering a person in a better, happier light.

Derek Boogaard was known as a fearsome fighter on the ice, a giant man with giant fists who many people avoided thanks to his giant stature. Indeed, he often did what was intended by merely being there such was his intimidation factor. However, Derek was known to be a good man, a kind man and a good teammate. Former Wild team-mate Marian Gaborik was delighted when the Rangers recruited him. Derek was involved in funny commercials back in Minnesota, displaying his funnier side. In addition, he made multiple appearances with partner organizations of the Garden of Dreams Foundation, the non-profit charity that works closely with all areas of Madison Square Garden – again displaying another side, a kinder side to the big fighter.

Rangers General Manager Glen Sather had this to say upon the passing of Boogaard;

“Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual,” Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather said in a release.  “He was a very thoughtful person, who will be dearly missed by all those who knew him.  We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time.”

The Minnesota Wild, who were the main team in Boogaard’s NHL career said this;

“The Minnesota Wild organization sends our deepest sympathies to the family of Derek Boogaard. Derek was a fan favorite during his five seasons with the Wild and will be greatly missed here in Minnesota and throughout the NHL. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Boogaard family during this tragic time of loss.”

Derek Boogaard didn’t make a huge impact on the ice for the Rangers, given his short time with the club. However, Derek Boogaard often made significant impacts off the ice – felt and appreciated by many. Here at Blue seat blogs we wish to pass our sincerest condolences to Dereks’ family and friends and everyone involved with the big man. To end on a happier note, let’s reflect on Derek’s sole goal as a Ranger. Nice finish big man.

BREAKING: Derek Boogaard found dead at home

Via Michael Russo of The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Derek Boogaard was found dead at his Minneapolis home today by family members. The Rangers have confirmed the death according to Jesse Spector. He was just 28. No further word on the cause of death or anything, but obviously this is just awful. Condolences to Boogaard’s friends and family.

More to come, eventually.

Glen Should Fix A Boog Mistake

I try to be fair when talking about Sather’s acquisitions, I really do. Knowing people in the organization and understanding the work that they do, I try to be somewhere between an objective businessman and an over opinionated (but equally entertaining!) fan. But every summer I seem to be scratching my head, as most Rangers fans do. One year it’s Drury and Gomez, another year it’s Redden or Brashear, and last offseason it was Boogaard.

Sather has at least corrected most of these problems, but now begs the question, can he finish the job?

Never in a million years would I have thought Glen would be able to unload Gomez and Brashear, or have the stugots to bury Redden in Hartford. Well now it’s time for Sather to fix his last mistake. It’s time unload Derek Boogaard.

He was brought here to make sure that Lundqvist would never get run over again, but let’s face it. A guy who plays 5 minutes a game isn’t going to have that kind of effect on a lineup. You could try to trade Boogie and there might be some takers (hey it worked for Brash), you could bury him in Hartford, or you could just buy him out. Burying him in Hartford wouldn’t affect anyone’s ice time. Buying him out would only leave about a $500K cap hit, albeit till 2016-2017.

Is it a perfect situation? No. Far from it. And really, how many people could we possibly buyout this summer? However, keeping him does nothing to improve this team. He can’t skate, he can’t forecheck, and he can’t really hit, since he can’t catch up to anyone. Oh and the whole fighting thing? He can barely do that either. Not that Derek can’t through down, he has the ability, but whose willing to fight him? He’s 6’7-6’8!

Glen needs to acquire someone who can take the load off of Prust, so he can concentrate on actually playing hockey. Boogie doesn’t fill this need. Finding an enforcer isn’t a chore, but watching Boogaard try to play hockey is.

Do us a favor Sather, fix your last mistake and all debts are paid.

Boogaard Hopes To Play This Season

Per Andrew Gross, Derek Boogaard appears to be symptom free, and is hoping that he can play again this season. Boogaard is the forgotten Ranger injury this year, as he only played in 22 games this season before getting a concussion on December 9 that effectively ended his season. Boogaard fought a myriad of injuries this year, which included the concussion, multiple hand injuries, and a shoulder injury. The Rangers have had Boogaard on long term injured reserve as of December 10, which is a little over two months.

Although Boogaard wants to return, it is unlikely he will see significant playing time this season, barring injuries. The Rangers have done just fine without him, and aren’t really in desperate need of an enforcer. Boogaard also may not fit into the lineup anymore, with the emergence of Mats Zuccarello and the acquisition of Wojtek Wolski. In fact, Boogaard may not even fit in next year, as the Rangers will look to get quicker and more skilled. The signing of Boogaard was a questionable one at best, and it is looking like it may be another bust of a free agent signing. Luckily, Boogaard’s salary isn’t $7 million, so he doesn’t kill the cap. But hey, we saw him score a goal this year, which is more than we can say for Chris Drury this season.

Remember Boogaard?

Remember Derek Boogaard? He’s the enforcer that Glen Sather signed to a four-year $6.5 million deal ($1.65 million a year) on the first day of free agency last summer. After coming to camp overweight, he played 22 games for the Rangers, fighting a few hand injuries along the way, before going on LTIR with a concussion after a fight with Matt Carkner two months ago. He has been on LTIR since then, and has not even been a second thought amongst Ranger fans or the coaching staff.

As per Larry Brooks, Boogaard is making strides towards his return, but a return this year still seems unlikely:

There is no timetable for Boogaard’s return, but sources have said the 28-year-old winger is making progress toward a recovery from the symptoms that had plagued him following the fight and leading up to the All-Star break.

Boogaard seems to be the forgotten injury for the Rangers this season. He has missed two months, but the Rangers are playing great hockey without him, and don’t really need the enforcer in the lineup. Guys like Brandon Prust and Sean Avery have more fighting majors than Boogaard, and more importantly, more wins in those fights. While Boogaard was playing, he was getting less than five minutes per game, and the lack of playing time limited his effectiveness as an intimidating enforcer. While he was on the ice, opponents were at least temporarily deterred from taking runs at Ranger players.

His best moment this season was when he took the puck at the blue line against the Capitals, raced in the zone, and blasted a howitzer past Michal Neuvirth for his first goal since 2006. If he were to miraculously be ready to play, he wouldn’t exactly fit into the current Rangers system. His inability to skate makes him a liability, and would put more pressure on the Rangers other 11 forwards to compensate. In the short term, it looks like Boogaard’s season is done. But is his career as a Ranger done after just 22 games? I would call it a 50/50 chance at this point.

Boogaard Shut Down

As per Larry Brooks, Derek Boogaard is experiencing some headaches, and has been shut down by the team. It is possible that he suffered a concussion following his fight against Matt Carkner during the Ottawa game two weeks ago. Concussions are a tricky thing, and you don’t want to risk much activity and making it worse. So the Rangers have officially shut down Boogaard for the time being.

Boogaard being shut down means two things for the Rangers: a) Todd White will be dressing more often than not; and b) Dale Weise may be seeing a lot more action as a Ranger. Weise is going to be used by the Rangers as a third or fourth line guy, especially against tougher teams like the Flyers. However, Weise also has some scoring ability, as he plays top-six minutes in Connecticut. If the Rangers are serious about giving Weise an extended look, he will play until Boogaard is cleared. Otherwise, White will be getting most of the minutes. A lot of questions will be answered prior to Thursday’s game with Tampa.

Boogaard, Eminger Injured

As per Andrew Gross, the Rangers were without tough guy Derek Boogaard and defenseman Steve Eminger at practice yesterday due to injury. Boogaard is out with a strained right shoulder, and will not play against Columbus tonight. He has been sent back to New York for reevaluation. Eminger is day-to-day with a hip flexor, but is expected to play tonight. Todd White will replace Boogaard in the lineup.

Tough Decisions Looming When Drury Returns

For all intents and purposes, Rangers captain Chris Drury has missed the entire season to date with a broken finger. The news came last week that Drury’s return is going to be delayed until at least next week because he is still having trouble gripping a stick. Drury has spent the entire season on long term injured reserve, and thus the Rangers have had some cushion in the salary cap to keep 13 (and sometimes 14) forwards and 7 defensemen with the club. That changes when Drury returns, as he will need to be activated from LTIR, and that cushion disappears.

When that cushion disappears, it is all but a certainty that Todd White will be sent to the Connecticut Whale. White has been waived twice thus far this year, and will likely be waived again in the coming days, as his 30 day window has expired since the last time he was waived. White’s cap hit of $2.375 million clears enough room for the Rangers to get back under the cap when Drury’s $7.05 million cap hit is re-activated. It shouldn’t be a surprise that White will be sent to Hartford, considering the dual waiving and his inability to not only crack the lineup, but remain in the lineup for a consistent period of time.

The demotion of White is the easy decision for the Rangers. The tough decision is deciding who will replace White in the press box once Drury returns. There are a few candidates for the healthy scratch, and there are legitimate reasons for scratching each of them:

  • Derek Boogaard: The Rangers enforcer isn’t exactly the best skater in the world, and he doesn’t bring much to the table other than the intimidation factor. Considering the upcoming schedule against some very skilled teams, it is likely that Boogaard will be scratched for a handful of those games.
  • Alex Frolov: Frolov is doing his best Chris Higgins impression this year. It’s not that he’s been bad, he just can’t seem to score. He has been effective at bringing the puck into the offensive zone, but he always winds up behind the net trying a wrap around. Maybe a trip to the press box for a game or two will remind him to shoot the puck before he gets behind the net.
  • Erik Christensen: Naturally, I’m going to mention Christensen here. Christensen may have 11 points, but 5 of them have come in two games against terrible teams (Edmonton, Islanders). He has just 6 points in the other 26 games he has played this year, and this is with significant time on the top line with Marian Gaborik. Christensen is very skilled, but skilled doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t scoring. The difference between him and Frolov is that Frolov at least plays decent defense.
  • Ruslan Fedotenko: Fedotenko is in the middle of an eight game scoreless drought after netting five points in his previous three games. Fedotenko is another one of those players who does other things to make up for his lack of production, but he does have 11 points this year while playing predominantly on the third line. A game or two as a scratch might wake him up a little bit.
  • Derek Stepan: This one is a long shot, but Stepan could wind up playing in Connecticut as well if Rangers brass decides to go with the old adage of salary over performance. Stepan is on this list because the Rangers history with playing salary over those deserving isn’t pretty. This one is very unlikely, but it’s worth mentioning.

So that I’m not leaving you guys to guess on your own, I think Drury will be re-inserted as a permanent figure in the lineup, and Boogaard and Christensen will be rotating as the healthy scratch. Christensen provides some extra offensive punch against the skilled teams, while Boogaard will definitely be a physical force against teams like the Flyers.

The Rangers Can Play Physical

This Rangers club is different from other Rangers clubs of the past. Sure, the Rangers have generally been in the top-five in hits, especially in the Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky years, but there has always been something missing. There was always a level of ferocity that the Rangers simply would not go to previously. This year is different. The feel of the team is different, and it’s because of three players that were mostly afterthoughts over the summer: Michael Sauer, Steve Eminger, and Derek Boogaard.

Starting with Boogaard, the Rangers have themselves an enforcer, and a great locker room guy. Although he will always get attention for that contract, what the Boogyman lacks in ability, he more than makes up for in size and strength. When he is on the ice, no one messes with any of the Rangers. He does more with his five minutes of playing time than Donald Brashear did with his seven minutes of playing time. Boogaard came into came in shape, having lost 25 pounds prior, and it has shown on the ice. He’s not the swiftest of skaters, he doesn’t have the softest hands, but he does protect his teammates. Oh, and he apparently has a wicked slap shot.

Steve Eminger, who was acquired from Anaheim for Aaron Voros and Ryan Hillier, has probably been the biggest surprise of the season. Written off by many, including myself, after his preseason performance, Eminger spent the first ten games alternating as a healthy scratch with Michael Sauer and Matt Gilroy. In those games, Eminger was very inconsistent, and sometimes a liability on the blue line. However, he slowly earned more playing time with increased physical play, and generally good defensive play. He has proved many naysayers wrong, and his physical presence is something that is very understated for this Rangers team.

Rookie Michael Sauer came into training camp as a question mark, but played his way on to the team. He’s tough, he’s physical, and as we learned yesterday, will drop the gloves when challenged. Yesterday’s game against the Flames was the most physical game the Rangers have played all year, and Sauer answered the call. Although that boarding call was well deserved, he managed to draw a roughing penalty to negate the powerplay, and later dropped the gloves twice. He makes opponents think twice before planting themselves in front of the net. He and Eminger together have been great surprises on the Rangers defense, which again has been very good in the absence of Michal Roszival.

Last night’s game against Calgary is going to be the typical game the Rangers will play against most Western Conference teams, very physical with a lot of anger boiling over. These three low key additions have been instrumental in making the Rangers a physical force, and a team that will make you pay for hitting their star, or running their goaltender. This is something we haven’t been able to say about the Rangers in a long time.

And just for fun, here is that Marc Staal hit on Matt Stajan. This hit was clean, as Staal came from in front of Stajan, and hit his left shoulder.

Evgeny Grachev Called Up

As per Steve Zipay the Rangers will call up highly touted prospect Evgeny Grachev to replace the injured Derek Boogaard. Boogaard cut his hand during his fight with Shawn Thornton, and his hand is now infected. He will unlikely be able to go tomorrow or Saturday. Grachev, still just 20 years old, has a goal and an assist in nine games with Hartford/Connecticut this season. His offensive numbers are not impressive, but his overall play has been much better than last season, which is the main reason why he has been called up.

In other injury-related news, Zipay is confirming that Artem Anisimov (ankle) and Michal Rozsival (knee), who both missed practice today, will not be out of the lineup this weekend. Both injuries are minor, with no lingering affects.