Derek Boogaard article in the New York Times

This is a very well-written, well-researched article that describes the life and death of Derek Boogaard. For those that don’t recognize the name, Boogaard was a feared and respected enforcer in the NHL. He died of a drug and alcohol overdose last May at age 28. It’s a long, three-part look into his life by John Branch. A fascinating and disturbing read.

Part 1: Derek Boogaard: A Boy Learns to Brawl

Part 2: Derek Boogaard: Blood on the Ice

Part 3: Derek Boogaard: A Brain ‘Going Bad’


2 thoughts on “Derek Boogaard article in the New York Times

  1. Thank you for putting a face on the difficult and sometimes tragic role of the hockey “enforcer”. As a lifelong fan of hockey and a physician that often cares for the player with hockey related injuries I have a deep respect for the talented individuals that dedicate their life to the sport. While hockey has a long tradition of enforcing a code of contact between players on the ice; as the life of Derek Boogaard illustrates, it comes with a high cost. Along with many sports hockey is recognizing the long-term consequences of repetitive head trauma to the long-term health of their players and is slowly imposing rule changes to reduce head and neck injuries. It was once argued that requiring helmets, and face visors would degrade the play of the game; however, they along with other rule changes have helped to reduce injuries without impacting the level of play. It seems somewhat duplicitous to take precautions to minimize head injuries to the elite skaters and goal scorers, while encouraging others to fight in a fashion that produces substantial brain trauma. Ultimately hockey will be judged on the respect it provides to all those that play the game.


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