New York Rangers forward Derek Boogaard has been found dead. He was 28.
The Rangers did not release details of his death, but according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Boogaard was found Friday evening in his Minneapolis apartment by his family. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office in Minnesota said an autopsy was pending.
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"Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual," New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather said in a statement
. "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."Known as the "Boogeyman," Boogaard hailed from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and played for the Minnesota Wild for five seasons before signing a four-year, $6.5 million contract with the Rangers in July. Boogaard's season ended Dec. 9 when he sustained a concussion in a fight the Senators' Matt Carkner in Ottawa. He did not play again.At 6-foot-7 and 265 pounds, Boogaard was an enforcer and had been voted the toughest fighter and most intimidating player in NHL polls several times. "I'm not afraid to do what I do," Boogaard said when he joined Rangers. "New York knows what type of player I am."
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Boogaard played only 22 games with the Rangers. In his 255-game NHL career, he had 3 goals, 13 assists and 589 penalty minutes.Boogaard is survived by his mother, Joanne; father, Len; a sister, Krysten; and two brothers, Aaron, a minor league hockey player, and Ryan, a Royal Canadian Mountie in Saskatchewan.