Skip to content

Cooke seeks Derek Boogaard’s parents’ blessing to wear late son’s number

Jul 9, 2013, 9:50 AM EDT

Matt Cooke #24 of the Pittsburgh Penguins controls the puck against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on March 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Penguins defeated the Avalanche 5-1.
(March 2, 2012 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

34-year-old forward Matt Cooke recently signed with the Minnesota Wild and that act alone has created controversy.

Amid that, he did an interview with KFAN and among the subjects that came up was the sensitive issue of what number he would wear. Throughout his career, he has been No. 24, which was also worn in Minnesota by the late Derek Boogaard.

“The team told me they’re OK with me wearing it because Marty [Havlat] wore it after [Boogaard],” Cooke said. “I don’t really feel comfortable putting it on without his mum and dad’s blessing.

“I’ve sent emails off to them. I want to let them know that by putting it on I’m absolutely not doing anything disrespectful. It’s been my only number in the NHL, but at the end of the day, I don’t want anyone’s feelings hurt. I don’t want anyone to think that I am being disrespectful and I want to make sure I take care of that before I even entertain the thought of putting it on.”

Len Boogaard, the father of Derek, forwarded the message to his kids, including Derek’s brother, Ryan.

“I read the e-mail and I greatly respect Matt for what he said in it,” Ryan said, according to the Star Tribune. “I texted my dad and told him I have no issues with it. I’m very impressed with Matt for what he did by reaching out to my parents.

“He didn’t have to do it as he could have just worn #24, but he thought of Derek and our family before doing so. I knew that someone would eventually wear #24 and I was not expecting them to reach out to us, so when Matt did, I could not have been happier.”

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Babcock hopes to lure Wings assistants to Toronto

    May 29, 2015, 9:14 AM EDT

    Mike Babcock, Brendan Shanahan AP

    Detroit wants to keep Tony Granato.

  2. Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win

    May 28, 2015, 11:16 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptrjmddjzwzioti1mmuymzk2njjjmzkwndizmmuyodfh AP

    “They need to hear our anthem, that’s a part of losing.”

  3. Chicago’s Sharp on Game 7 confidence (and Mario Kart)

    May 28, 2015, 10:02 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznptk3ztbjztrjndbimtgynza0mjy1ndyynjbkmzi4zmyy AP

    Sharp says Blackhawks are ready for “whatever [the Ducks] throw at us.”

  4. Bolts shrug off talk of Madison Square Garden ‘mystique’

    May 28, 2015, 8:58 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Five Getty Images

    Victor Hedman: “We’re prepared for this.”

  5. Devils’ Shero: No decision yet regarding Clowe’s future

    May 28, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

    Ryane Clowe AP

    Retirement remains a possibility, and it might be his call.

  6. Schmaltz to Schwartz? Blues sign 2012 first-rounder

    May 28, 2015, 6:35 PM EDT

    2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits 2012 NHL Entry Draft - Portraits

    Even their first names are similar (Jordan and Jaden). Fun times ahead …

  7. Politician accuses ‘separatist’ Peladeau of turning NHL off Quebec City

    May 28, 2015, 5:28 PM EDT

    Nordiques Rally Hockey AP

    “The fact that Mr. Peladeau is a separatist…we know very well whether it’s the owners of the team in Toronto or the owners of the Canadiens, they’re not separatists and they don’t want Quebec to separate.”

  8. DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose

    May 28, 2015, 4:52 PM EDT

    Peter DeBoer Getty Images

    Says that “the expectation is to win right now.”

  9. (Video) PHT Extra: Health, not history, should be Lightning’s major concern

    May 28, 2015, 3:48 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Six Getty Images

    Meanwhile, in the West, Corey Crawford has the edge in big-game experience over Frederik Andersen.

  10. Sabres name Bylsma head coach

    May 28, 2015, 3:15 PM EDT

    BOSTON, MA - JUNE 05:  Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins speaks to the media following a 2-1 double overtime loss to the Boston Bruins during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on June 5, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Pens to receive third-round pick in 2016 as compensation.

  11. ’15 Draft prospect Connor wins USHL Player of the Year

    May 28, 2015, 2:21 PM EDT

    USA Blue v USA White - 2014 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp Getty Images

    After scoring 80 points in 56 games for Youngstown.

  12. Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’

    May 28, 2015, 2:08 PM EDT

    Canadiens Rangers Hockey AP

    Rangers goalie knows he can’t rely on history to defeat the Lightning.

  13. Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue

    May 28, 2015, 1:04 PM EDT

    BOSTON, MA - JUNE 05:  Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins speaks to the media following a 2-1 double overtime loss to the Boston Bruins during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on June 5, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The former Penguins coach is still under contract to Pittsburgh.

  14. Report: Roy wants to bring Radulov to Colorado

    May 28, 2015, 12:27 PM EDT

    Radulov AP

    Former Preds forward, who played for Roy in junior, is currently with KHL club CSKA.

  15. Terry Murray would ‘absolutely’ take job as Hakstol’s assistant

    May 28, 2015, 12:22 PM EDT

    Buffalo Sabres v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

    Has spent the past three seasons coaching the Flyers’ AHL affiliate.

  16. Report: Gagne wants to resume playing career

    May 28, 2015, 12:05 PM EDT

    St. Louis Blues v Boston Bruins Getty Images

    Spent part of last season with the Bruins

Featured video

Which teams have the Game 7 edge?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. R. Nash (1458)
  2. K. Yandle (1325)
  3. A. Vermette (1275)
  4. M. Carle (1173)
  5. N. Horton (1169)