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.

Also find Russo on Facebook.

Email Michael to talk about hockey.

Derek Boogaard's family donates Ottawa Senators season tickets in son's memory

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news Updated: October 11, 2011 - 5:25 PM

In honor of his late son, Derek Boogaard’s father, Len, and his wife, Jody Vail, purchased four Ottawa Senators season tickets and donated them to four military bases in Ottawa.

Each game (44 in all) during a TV timeout, four soldiers that have returned from deployment are honored. During the preseason, it was never announced that the tickets were actually coming from the Boogaards, so if you're an Ottawa fan coming to the games, from now on, you do.

“Derek really got heavily involved in helping the military, and he had talked to me about once he was done playing hockey wanting to participate in the military,” said Len Boogaard, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer based in Ottawa. “It seemed to give him a real sense of purpose. I hadn’t seen him get so excited about something until he got involved with the military and National Guard with Burnzie [Brent Burns] and Shane Hudella [of Defending the Blue Line].”

Len Boogaard is still painfully grieving the loss of his son. He hasn’t worked since Derek died May 13 of a toxic mix of painkillers and alcohol. He said this is another way to preserve his son’s memory.

“In light of how people are harping how he died, it’s a special way to show people there was more to Derek than that,” Len Boogaard said.

Ryan Boogaard, an RCMP officer based in northern Saskatchewan, said, doing this in Derek's memory is something that has really excited his father.

"My dad loves the military and while we were growing up, he always watched military movies, documentaries, read military type novels and took us to the air force base in Moose Jaw to see the annual air shows when we were kids. He is a hard guy to buy for when it came to Christmas, birthday's and Father's Day, but I could never go wrong if I bought him something with the military in it, for example a DVD box set.

"After Derek's passing, Shane Hudella and one of Derek's friends drove to Regina for the service. He gave our family an American flag that was in a glass case with an inscription that it had been flown in the recent Iraqi war and it was dedicated to Derek. ... There was no doubt that my dad was going to be taking it back with him and he is very proud of it."

Ryan's been thinking about the Wild and his brother a lot the last few days because of memories of the 2009 equipment fire in Ottawa.

"It was my last Christmas I had with Derek," said Ryan. "[My girlfriend] Lisa and I had made plans to go to my dads that Christmas because Derek was playing in both Ottawa and Montreal. My dad made arrangements for a big Christmas dinner.

"I remember sitting on the couch that afternoon with Derek watching sports highlights when they announced that the Wild equipment truck had caught on fire. I looked at Derek expecting him to know about it and wondering why he did not say anything, but he looked at me as he did not have the slightest clue what was going on. Sure enough, he got a text from someone saying "meeting, 6 sharp" then he called to find out what happened. It was actually pretty funny, I always get a kick out of when the media finds out about something before the players do.

"My dad took him back to the hotel and after the meeting, my dad brought him back to the house for dinner. My Oma, Opa, aunt, uncle and cousin all came over for the big turkey dinner. It was a good day."
 

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 4th Qtr 0:02
LA Clippers 100
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Does a Stadium Series outdoor Wild game get you excited?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT