The passing of Derek Boogaard has taken a deep toll on the fans who knew the player best, those of the Minnesota Wild. Boogaard played the first five years of his career in Minnesota, and in that time between 2005 and 2010, he became perhaps the most beloved player in the history of the franchise.
At our Wild blog, Hockey Wilderness, fans have dropped by to share the fond memories they have of Boogey, and a lot of them are extremely personal, a brief glimpse at how much of a connection the man made outside of the hockey arena. A sampling:
My favorite Boogaard memory was meeting him with my brother. Tyler was on his two-week leave from Iraq the same time that Boogey came to our town. We waited in line for four hours to be the first to meet him, and he was SUCH a sweetheart. Just a wonderful guy. Boogaard was someone that brought my brother and i closer to each other, and because of that he meant more to me than i think most people can understand. Totally heartbroken over this.
Derek came in on numerous occasions to our establishment and was very nice! I remember serving him once and at first, not knowing who he was, treated him like anyone else. He was super nice and didn't have any complaints. Then I found out who he was at my table and I immediately felt star-struck. He was an amazing athlete and he will forever be missed.
The staff from Jake's City Grille will miss your visits! R.I.P. Boogyman (lucky) #24
I spent some quality time with the boogey man cycling in the summers here in Mn. He was truely a gentle giant. His smile was contagious, and I witnessed his desire to be the best he could be on a regular basis. He would crush himself to win an uphill sprint knowing full well that he would sooner score a goal than win a sprint. He loved his brother and he loved life ! I miss him more than I can explain. God bless BOOOOOOGY.