Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Statement from Ryan Boogaard regarding younger brother Aaron Boogaard

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: July 26, 2011 - 12:56 AM

I just received an email from Ryan Boogaard, middle brother to Derek and Aaron Boogaard:

Our family has been fairly mum on the recent arrest and subsequent charges laid against my younger brother, Aaron, so I would like to share a few words.

Although I cannot make specific comments as to proving or disproving the allegation's against Aaron while the matter is before the court, I can say that our family fully supports him and we are disappointed in both the Minneapolis Police Department and Hennepin County Prosecution Office in their decision to prosecute him.

Aaron had fully cooperated with their investigation and now, just over two months after losing his big brother and still grieving, he will have to endure very public legal proceedings.

Aaron has never sold prescribed and non prescribed painkillers, never bought prescribed and non prescribed painkillers and Aaron does not abuse prescribed and non prescribed painkillers. The prosecutions office did not disclose all the details surrounding the investigation but for me [to] go into more detail about this would go against my previous statement about not commenting to prove or disprove the allegations and Aaron gets his day in court so it can all come to fruition at that time.

In summary, there is more than what has been released to the media.

Aaron has never been arrested in the United States or Canada and, up until recent, Aaron has never been charged for any criminal offense.

As it is now widely known, Derek became addicted to pain killers after having shoulder surgery in 2009. This broke our family's hearts to watch as Derek battled the disease. After two failed attempts in rehab, this was a fight that Derek never got up from.

Aaron never condoned what Derek did and had actually gone to California to support Derek in his latest rehab attempt.

To insinuate that Aaron had anything remotely to do with Derek's death, as Prosecutor Mike Freeman alluded to, is just plain wrong but, again, I cannot comment specifics as it is before the court.

Our family is still grieving over the loss of Derek and this has affected nobody more than his summertime roommate, training partner, best friend and loving brother, Aaron.

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