Derek Boogaard Memorial Held In Minnesota, Organized By Wild Fans

Hundreds of Minnesota Wild fans showed up at Xcel Energy Center on Sunday night to remember the life of Derek Boogaard, the former Wild forward who tragically passed away on Friday.

He was beloved by Wild fans during the five years he played there as a tough fan favorite -- t he underdog who couldn't really score goals, but would play his role as an enforcer to the best of his ability each and every night. He was, pound-for-pound, one of the toughest players in the NHL -- if not the toughest.

But just to understand how beloved Boogaard really was in Minnesota, you'd have to look no further than the memorial ceremony on Sunday. It wasn't set up by the Wild or the family or the building or even his old teammates. Two fans, not even of legal drinking age, set it up using Facebook. An impromptu memorial. 

The story via Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

This was all the brainchild of 19-year-old Katie Haag of St. Francis and 18-year-old Shelby Leske of Hutchinson.

This started with a simple Facebook "event" the night Boogaard died. They didn't have permission. They didn't ask if the building was available. They just knew in their heart what they had to do, and they did it.

It grew and grew. I was even a little squeamish about whether or not I was supposed to promote it. After all, the Wild wasn't putting it on and the family didn't know about it and they were mourning.

But this morning, Ryan Boogaard texted me that the family was going, and I instantly got it up on our site.

If that's not the definition of a love affair between a player and a fan base, I don't know what is. For more on the memorial and the life of Derek Boogaard, head over to Hockey Wilderness. Bryan Reynolds of HW shared some photos of the memorial.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.