Alcohol, oxycodone led to Boogaard's death: medical report
MINNEAPOLIS —_NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard, who was found dead in his Minnesota home last week, died from a combination of alcohol and oxycodone, a U.S. medical examiner said Friday.
Dr. Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner, also said in Friday’s report that the 28-year-old New York Rangers player’s death was accidental.
Boogaard was found dead in a Minneapolis apartment complex on May 13. Foul play was never suspected, authorities say.
“Cause of death is mixed alcohol and oxycodone toxicity,” the medical examiner’s report reads. “Manner of death is accident.”
The New York Post reported last week that Boogaard had recently entered the NHL/NHLPA Behavioural Health and Substance Abuse program.
His funeral is scheduled for Saturday in Regina.
Boogaard’s family said the outpouring of support since his death has been comforting.
“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,” the Boogaard family said in a statement issued by the NHL Players Association.
Noting Boogaard’s charitable work in Minnesota and New York, the family said they were proud Boogaard was able to “live his boyhood dream to play in the NHL,” and also addressed the findings of the medical examiner.
“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,” the family statement said, requesting privacy as they grieve. “While he played and lived with pain for many years, his passion for the game, his teammates, and his community work was unstoppable.”
The six-foot-seven Boogaard, who was from Regina, spent the past season with the Rangers after spending the previous five NHL seasons with the Minnesota Wild.
As one of the league’s most feared fighters, Boogaard had three goals, 13 assists and 580 penalty minutes in 277 NHL games.
This season, which was limited to just 22 games because of a concussion, Boogaard netted one goal, one assist and 45 penalty minutes
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