TORONTO - When the Minnesota Wild paid tribute to Derek Boogaard following the NHL enforcers death

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TORONTO - When the Minnesota Wild paid tribute to Derek Boogaard following the NHL enforcers death, the four-minute 45-second video showed the six-foot-seven 265-pounder making hits, smiling with fans and doing charity work. Koen Casteels Jersey .It included each of his three NHL goals. But it did not show a single punch.That really struck me, said author John Branch. It was as if we are not going to be honest with ourselves about why he was there. And why he was popular.Branch, who documents Boogaards troubled life in a new book, notes that Boogaard fought at least 61 times over an NHL career that spanned 277 regular-season games and produced three goals, 13 assists and 589 penalty minutes. Boogaard fought more than 100 times, starting at 16, before he reached the NHL. And he never scored more than twice in a season.Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard tells the sad story of a larger-than-life man-child who struggled to fit in on and off the ice. Initially a hockey liability, Boogaard found a role in protecting his teammates.At first, it was spontaneous. During a bantam game in Melfort, Sask., he sent opposing players scattering for safety when he rushed their bench after a brawl broke out. Regina Pats scouts in attendance were so impressed that they immediately put in a claim for his junior rights and came up with a nickname: The Boogeyman. Later, the behaviour was expected of him as he rose through the junior and pro ranks.It didnt take long for the message to get through. In his second camp with the Regina Pats, the 17-year-old Boogaard fought 12 times in the first four scrimmages.As a member of the Minnesota Wild, Boogaard was beloved. But his game came with a mental and physical cost.At 25, Boogaard was beginning his third NHL season and was starting his side down a slippery slope.Within a year, Derek would have teeth knocked out and be prescribed vast amounts of painkillers by team doctors, Branch, a Pulitzer Prize-winning sports reporter for the New York Times, writes in the book. In another year, he would be in substance abuse rehabilitation. In another year, he would be in New York, rich and miserable and alone. And in another year, he would be dead.Boogaard died May 13, 2011, of an accidental overdose, a lethal mix of alcohol and prescription painkillers. He was 28.Subsequent study of his brain showed he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE. Boogaard was classified as Stage 2 of the four stages of the disease a€” more severe than Dr. Ann McKee, a Boston University professor of neurology and pathology, had seen before in a person that young.Boogaards death, coupled with the suicides of Rick Rypien and Wade Belak just months later, focused a spotlight on hockey tough guys and their cost of doing business.Boogaard played five seasons for the Minnesota Wild before signing a four-year, US$6.5-million deal with the Rangers. He would only play 22 games for the Rangers, in the 2010-11 season as he fell victim to his demons.Hockey had started as a place of refuge for Boogaard. But it didnt end up that way.It was a rare place for Derek where he felt like he fit in, Branch said in an interview. And certainly when he made the NHL and became the Boogeyman and became well-known, I think he was very, very proud of fitting in and being somebody who was looked up to as a protector of his teammates. That was a big deal for him.Now as I wrote in the book, I dont think he loved what he did. But I certainly know that he loved what it got him.Branch, who never met Boogaard, wrote a three-part series on the tough guy for the Times that ran in December 2011. It was titled Punched Out: The Life and Death of a Hockey Enforcer.Part of the initial interest was that the Boogaard family had donated Dereks brain to scientists at Boston University and the Times had led the way in coverage of brain injuries in sports. Branchs then-sports editor Joe Sexton suggested that in tracking the scientific examination of Boogaards brain, it might also be interesting to delve into that world of enforcers.Maybe theres a bigger story there, Branch recalled his editor saying.Initially Branch did not know how the Boogaard family might react.I told them from the get-go, Im not sure what its going to uncover, Im not sure if there are things that are going to be make your son look bad, ridiculous, heroic, whatever. I cant promise where its all going to go.The family proved to be helpful and supportive although Branch says: Whether they like the book, I dont know.Dereks father Len provided Branch with a riveting road map of medical, banking, phone and other records available only to next of kin.He was a police officer, a Canadian Mountie, said Branch. And I think after Derek died, he saw a lot of his role as investigating how his son died. And so he did a ton of great investigative work that a reporter probably couldnt do, (like) access to a lot of records. And he handed those things over.The family is pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against the NHL, which explains the leagues resistance to co-operate on the book.NHL commissioner Gary Bettman did speak to Branch before the newspaper series ran. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly was also interviewed in 2011.The Minnesota Wild, while initially helpful, and New York Rangers were also not very co-operative.Readers of the book will wonder about the substance abuse programs Boogaard was in. Nothing much seemed to happen as he spiralled out of control, although Boogaard appeared to take advantage of holes in the system.Branch calls it one of more head-shaking parts of Boogaards story, noting gaps of communication between counsellors and Boogaard.Derek never really paid a price, even when he was failing drug tests, he said.During his second stint in rehab, Boogaard was granted two long extended recesses to leave rehab. It was the first night of the second recess a€” ostensibly to attend his sisters college graduation a€” that he overdosed.Im not sure Derek was the most willing participant, Branch said of rehab. But certainly I think there are some holes and some flaws in the substance abuse program and in their oversight of doctors.No doubt people tried. The book says Boogaard and an NHL substance abuse counsellor exchanged seven texts the night before he died.The books trail of prescriptions and pills is chilling. Branch, who was unable to speak to team doctors, says matching medical records with games shows a lot of Boogaards locker-room injections and pills came the day before or day of fights.There is certainly a pattern of propping him up, getting him ready for the next big fight. You see that pattern in the drug use.Boogaard realized, according to Branch, that there was little communication between doctors, so he would get a prescription from one doctor and then go to another for more pills.During his fourth NHL season in Minnesota, Boogaard had at least 25 prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone, a total of 622 pills from 10 doctors a€” eight Wild doctors, an oral surgeon in Minneapolis and a doctor from another team. I think one of the more interesting parts is even once he had reached the Rangers, he was still getting pills from Wild doctors, Branch said.The book is more than the sad decline of a hockey enforcer. Branch documents Boogaards life from an early age, helping pull back the curtain with 16 pages of handwritten notes Boogaard made about his childhood.Branch calls the misspelled notes vital to both the newspaper series and the book.They certainly give Derek a voice that he wouldnt have had otherwise.Im proud of the fact that this is a book really about his entire life and not just about his hockey career. I think it makes it a little bit more of a human story, he added.Branch, who covered hockey some 10 to 12 years go while working in Colorado, watched a lot of hockey fights in researching the book.He says he used to think of them as a silly sideshow. That has changed.Now when I watch them. I just think its a little bit sad and a little bit ridiculous that they are allowing people to fight.The NHL will tell you that they are very concerned about injuries and head injuries and concussions for their players. And its hard to balance that with the sight of two men fighting, bare knuckles, sometimes the helmets come off, fans cheering, officials standing by watching, teammates watching. And one man trying to knock out the other one.Now that we know more about brain injuries, it could be a tough spectacle for me to watch these days. The 47-year-old Branch, who is now based in California, also worries about how society views its athletes. It saddens and frustrates me that hockey and I think a lot of other professional sports see these athletes as replaceable parts. And theyll do what they can to keep them on the ice or on the field. And once theyre of little use to them, they are disposed of.I think Derek was seen as somebody who could help the team and when he was no longer helping the team, it was We need to move on and thanks for your time, and theres the door.I really think theres something to be said about the way we treat our athletes and not just the way teams treat their athletes, its the way fans view their athletes and the media view the athletes. We are very quick to prop them but were very slow to help them in their times of need.a€” Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard, By John Branch, HarperCollins, 327 pages.---Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter Belgium Jerseys .Johnny there, who knew he had that speed? teammate Tommy Wingels said.Scott and Matt Irwin were unlikely goal-scorers Tuesday night as the previously stingy San Jose Sharks finally sprung a leak or two, blowing a pair of three-goal leads before coming away with a 6-5 shootout victory over the Washington Capitals. Vincent Kompany Belgium Jersey . His chance at winning a Stanley Cup in Philadelphia is over. Same with Jeff Carter. And Brian Boucher. Throw in Ville Leino and Dan Carcillo. http://www.soccerbelgiumfansshop.com/Adnan-Januzaj-UEFA-European-Belgium-Jersey/ . “Im not sure well get Melky Cabrera at all,” said Gibbons. The 29-year-old left fielder struggled all season with knee and hamstring problems. Cabrera was first on the disabled list from June 27-July 20 with tendinitis in his left knee.The rules of the game of football are subjective. Make that, almost always subjective. Saturday at Carrow Road, the spirit of fair play trumped the rulebook, costing Norwich City three points. Fer play was denied, with Fair Play ruling the day. The least appealing match of the weekend on paper turned out to be the fixture with the darkest cloud hanging over. Norwich City and Cardiff City went 90 minutes without a goal. Cue the controversy. In stoppage time with a 0-0 score-line, Cardiff played the ball out of bounds for an injured Norwich player down on the field: a signal of true sportsmanship allowing the injured player to receive treatment. Its customary for the gesture to be extended in return, with the ball being played back to the opposition. When one team concedes possession to allow for an injured player to be seen, the favour need be repaid immediately. Or so convention says. Norwich City didnt oblige. Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall showed for the ball on the throw, completely out of goal and out of position. Ricky van Wolfswinkel decided instead to throw the ball to his Norwich teammate, Leroy Fer. With little hesitation, Fer passed the ball into the wide-open net. 1-0, Norwich City. Or so it should have been. Chaos ensued with Cardiff players confronting Fer, the teams pushing back and forth and confusion, en masse. Fer broke a cardinal rule. He didnt repay the gesture. Cardiff City players had every right to be incensed. But Fer did not break a rule of the game. With the scoreboard showing 1-0 and hostility raging, referee Mike Jones took matters in his own hands, calling back the goal and ordering the throw to be re-taken. The reason for the goal being disallowed, as described by Fer? Jones told the midfielder he didnt blow his whistle. But a referee doesnt have to blow his whistle to restart play. Jones clearly signaled for play to carry on so wherever the ball is thrown, the play is live and teams are free to carry on with proceedings. Fer was in his every right to do with the ball as he pleased. The laws of the game were not broken. Yet Jones, overseeing the proceedings made a moral decision, standing up for the unwritten rules of the game. Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay called Jones decision to disallow the goal, "common sense for football". Norwich manager Chris Houghton agrees, hitting out at his own player and backing the match official. Fer doesnt see things the same way. "Would I do it again? If it was a zero-zero game then yes, because I just want to win." Norwich City currently sits in the relegation zone. They need all the points they can get. If the Canaries are in a similar situation on the final match day of the season, you dont think the players would bypass an unwritten rule to fight for their Premier League lives? Of course they would. Yet, on this day in October, a referee made a moral decision and not a judgment based on the rules of the game. And these dropped points based on this disallowed goal could come back and haunt them. Showing a lack of sportsmanship, but not breaking a rule, cannot be deemed worthy of taking back a goal. We see a lack of sportsmanship on a weekly basis with players diving, trying to earn penalties, all in the name of winning the game. Referees cannot be relied upon to use common sense in every call thats made on the field. Handballs in the box, challenges as a last man back, a player taken down in the box – many of these calls are deemed black-and-white, despite being harsh. The laws of the game dictate the call being made. But if Saturday at Carrow Road is the precedent, the referee seemingly has much greater level of interpretation as moral arbiter of the contest. We have seen it done before when a player/team SHOULD give back possession of the ball in the name of sportsmanship. But in times of desperation, where wins and losses matter, the code has been ignored. We saw a similar goal count in Capital One Cup play earlier this season, with Yeovil not giving the ball back after Birmingham City goalkeeper Colin Doyle played the ball out of bounds for one of his injured defenders. The match official allowed the goal to stand, despite protestations and the poor form. Weve seen similar in top competitions, like the Champions League and World Cup, when teams put sportsmanship to the side in favour of their own fortunes. There is no arguing, common sense dictates van Wolfswinkel and Fer shhould have played the ball straight back to Marshall or another Cardiff player. Kevin De Bruyne Jersey. But the point is once the play happened, the goal should have never been called back. Fer may have acted like a jerk. His actions dont reflect well on he or the club. But the goal should have counted. It is a not referees job to manage fair play in this context. His or her job is to call the rules of the game. Its up to the players to play how they see best reflect on themselves and their club. Common sense didnt win out at Carrow Road. Wrong decisions did. Fer made the first wrong decision. Jones followed that up with a wrong decision of his own. Two wrongs dont make a right. Other Musings - The unreliability of Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has already been discussed at length in this space. Was his gaffe at Stamford Bridge the last straw? Late in a 1-1 game against Chelsea, Hart inexplicably charged out of his goal for a long-ball defender Matija Nastasic was in control of. With Fernando Torres closing in, Nastasic made the right decision to head back to his goalkeeper. Never mind the poor communication, Hart came charging out of his box like a madman, leaving his defender on the lurch, gifting Torres the match winner. Hart was out of his box and out of position even before Nastastic touched the ball. All the City goalkeeper had to do was keep his composure and stay in a balanced, reactive position inside his own box, something he failed to do at Villa Park as well. The sheer disappointment and negative body language of the City players and manager after the calamitous goal tells the story. They have lost faith in their goalkeeper. Being a top goalkeeper is more than just being a shot stopper. Hart is that. A communicator, thinker and leader from the back, he is not. Now were left with pundits proclaiming a resurrection of the goal scorer Torres. Only if scoring every goal were as easy. Costel Pantilimon was handed the start in the Capital One Cup Wednesday. He should get a look as the short-term number one until reinforcements can be found in January. Manuel Pellegrini needs reliability at the back. Someone who does not make massive mistakes is all thats required at present time for a team good enough to win the title. - Pellegrini snubbed Jose Mourinhos handshake after the 2-1 loss, heading down the tunnel without acknowledging his counterpart. Mourinho made a fool of himself, jumping into the crowd to celebrate after being gifted the winning goal. You would have thought Torres goal would be a wonder-strike by the way Mourinho reacted. The celebration was a slap in the face to Pellegrini. Such an egregious goal and mockery of a celebration shouldnt sit well with anyone. Earn the goal, then fine, celebrate as you will. But the shocking way the goal went down, Mourinho should feel fortunate to go in the lead. Mourinho should be embarrassed by his reaction. Need more reason why Mourinho didnt get his dream job as manager of Manchester United? - SAS is on fire. Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez have scored 14 of Liverpools 17 Premier League goals. Enjoy it while it lasts. The unpredictable Suarez is perpetually unsettled and could be tempted to move away from Anfield at any time. Suarez summer of discontent and posturing has been forgotten for the time being. Let the good times roll. How long does that last? It is of concern for Liverpool where they will find goals if injury or suspension hits the tandem. For the meantime, they deserve all the accolades they are receiving. The goals have been special and the play has been top quality. - Time for a formation change at Old Trafford? David Moyes team has started to show some of the bite accustomed to Manchester United. Yet the team hasnt yet hit top gear. The players available for selection seem to dictate United play a more narrow formation. The wing play has been poor, and with Moyes not yet trusting Wilfried Zaha, perhaps hes best off relying on wing production from Patrice Evra and Rafael from the back rather than the attacking wing positions. A 4-2-3-1 makes more sense, with Wayne Rooney, Shinji Kagawa, and Adnan Januzaj taking up the attacking midfield positions. Kagawa is wasted playing outside left, with a preference to come in field. And Januzaj was the top player midweek in the Capital One Cup, playing in the middle of the park with freedom to roam and create. @WheelerTSNgareth.wheeler@bellmedia.ca Wholesale NFL Womens Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Jerseys NFL China NFL Jerseys Outlet ' ' '

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