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Derek Boogaard died due to toxic mixture of alcohol, oxycodone

May 20, 2011, 1:54 PM EDT

derekboogaardgetty Getty Images

The hockey world mourned the death of New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard last Friday, whose passing blindsided people because he was just 28 years old. There was some speculation that an extensive history of concussions factored into his death, but it appears that was not the case. Michael Russo reports that Boogaard died from a toxic mixture of alcohol and oxycodone. (Oxycodone is a narcotic substance often used as a pain-killer for moderate to severe symptoms.)

It’s a sad story, no doubt, but hopefully fans will remember Boogaard for his charitable efforts and sense of humor rather than the way he died.

If you’d like to read more about Boogaard, here’s a collection of PHT content on the feared fighter.

Update: Boogaard’s family released the following statement through the NHL Players Association.

“We would like to express our appreciation for the outpouring of love and support for our family during this difficult period as we grieve the loss of Derek – our son and brother.   We are deeply saddened by this unimaginable loss, but we are grateful for the expression of support that has given us strength as we go through this tragic time.

It is very comforting for our family to know that, while Derek’s life was far too short, he had a great impact on many people who he came into contact with.  We are proud that Derek was able to live his boyhood dream to play in the National Hockey League. We are even more proud of the fact that Derek was dedicated to making a difference in his adopted communities of Minnesota and New York City, through his countless hours of charitable work.

Earlier today, we received the results of Derek’s toxicology report at the time of his accidental death.  After repeated courageous attempts at rehabilitation and with the full support of the New York Rangers, the NHLPA, and the NHL, Derek had been showing tremendous improvement but was ultimately unable to beat this opponent.  While he played and lived with pain for many years, his passion for the game, his teammates, and his community work was unstoppable.

Our family would like to like to thank the New York Rangers, the Minnesota Wild, the National Hockey League Players’ Association, and the National Hockey League for supporting Derek’s continued efforts in his battle.

Derek will be greatly missed and will never be forgotten by his fans, friends, and teammates, and especially by us – his family. We respectfully ask for continued privacy as we grieve the loss of Derek.”

  1. sknut - May 20, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Thats sad. RIP Boogey Man.

  2. govtminion - May 20, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Aw hell… that’s just horrible news. A close family member of mine has been abusing the exact same stuff, I hope if anything good comes from this it would be that it shocks others into dropping this stuff once and for all.

  3. jleimer - May 20, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    It gets even sadder with this news, I just hope the BU study of his brain doesnt show dementia or something alot more serious like CTE. All I can say is the headshot and fighting debate is either gonna settle somewhat down or go to places where it has never been before.

  4. donttouchthedirtypenny - May 20, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Wait, you’re basing your report on a “tweet”?

  5. stakex - May 20, 2011 at 6:33 PM

    Call me the cold hearted one around here… but I don’t fine it very sad when an addict dies of their addiction. I say that having had a family member who was a very bad drug addict, and while they are clean now I really can’t say I would have felt all that sad had they died. They know what the end result could be, and they still do it. Addiction is an excuse, not a reason.

  6. neuron90 - May 20, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    I never walked a mile in his shoes, so I have no idea what battles he fought. Rest in peace, and peace to his family.

  7. chicagofan - May 21, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    Sad, but the real story here is the prescription drug abuse problem that is rampant today. Oxycodone is a narcotic analgesic (sold as percocet and vicodin) and is essentially prescription heroin and like the more potent oxycontin, highly addictive. People assume that it is not dangerous because it is prescribed, and obviously this is not the case. If you are using these drugs, go get help before it is too late!

  8. addict2sport - May 21, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    what a waste

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