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Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard - A Pulitzer Prize-Winning Reporter's Investigation into a Hockey Star's Overdose


# Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard mobi download book - Introduction - A brief overview of the book by John Branch, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times - A summary of the main themes and topics covered in the book, such as Boogaard's rise and fall as a hockey enforcer, his struggles with addiction and brain damage, and his tragic death at 28 - The Making of the Boogeyman - A background on Boogaard's childhood and family, his early hockey experiences, and his physical growth - A description of how he became a fighter and enforcer in junior hockey and the NHL, and how he earned his nickname "The Boogeyman" - An analysis of the role and risks of enforcers in hockey, and the culture and expectations that surround them - The Breaking of the Boogeyman - A chronicle of Boogaard's injuries, concussions, surgeries, and painkillers use throughout his career - A discussion of the effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated head trauma, on Boogaard's mental health and behavior - A recounting of Boogaard's final days, his accidental overdose of alcohol and oxycodone, and his autopsy results - The Legacy of the Boogeyman - A reflection on the impact of Boogaard's death on his family, friends, teammates, fans, and the hockey community - A review of the changes and initiatives that have been made or proposed to address the issues faced by enforcers and other players, such as concussion protocols, substance abuse programs, fighting rules, and research on CTE - A conclusion that highlights the main takeaways and lessons from Boogaard's life and death, and the importance of remembering him as a person beyond his role as a fighter - FAQs - A list of five frequently asked questions about the book or its subject matter, along with brief answers Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard mobi download book




If you are a fan of hockey, or even if you are not, you may have heard of Derek Boogaard, one of the most feared and respected fighters in the history of the sport. Boogaard, who played for the Minnesota Wild and the New York Rangers, was known as "The Boogeyman" for his imposing size and his ability to knock out his opponents with a single punch. But behind his tough exterior, there was a gentle and vulnerable soul who suffered from physical and emotional pain, addiction, and brain damage. His life ended tragically at the age of 28, when he overdosed on alcohol and painkillers in his Minneapolis apartment.




Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard mobi download book


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Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard is a book by John Branch, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times, who spent three years investigating and writing about Boogaard's story. The book is based on hundreds of interviews with Boogaard's family, friends, teammates, coaches, doctors, and others who knew him or were affected by his death. It also draws on Boogaard's personal journals, medical records, legal documents, and other sources that reveal his inner thoughts and struggles.


The book is not only a biography of Boogaard, but also an exploration of the issues and challenges that face hockey enforcers and other players who suffer from repeated head trauma. It exposes the dark side of the sport that often goes unnoticed or ignored by fans and media. It also raises important questions about the role and responsibility of the NHL, the players' union, the teams, and the medical staff in protecting and supporting their players.


The Making of the Boogeyman




Derek Boogaard was born on June 23, 1982, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He was the first of four children of Len and Joanne Boogaard, who moved frequently due to Len's job as a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. Derek grew up in various towns in Saskatchewan and Ontario, where he often faced bullying and discrimination because of his size, shyness, and father's occupation. He also had learning difficulties and behavioral problems that made school a challenge for him.


Derek started playing hockey at the age of four, following his father's footsteps. He loved the game and dreamed of becoming a professional player. However, he soon realized that he lacked the skill and speed to compete with his peers. He was always the biggest kid on the ice, but also the slowest and clumsiest. He was frequently cut from teams or relegated to the bench. He felt frustrated and angry, but he never gave up.


When he was 15, he found his niche as a fighter and enforcer. He discovered that he could use his size and strength to intimidate and protect his teammates from the opposing players. He also learned how to throw punches and take hits without flinching. He became a fan favorite and a team leader. He earned the respect and admiration of his coaches and scouts, who saw potential in him as a future NHL player.


He was drafted by the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League in 1998, where he honed his fighting skills and reputation. He fought 69 times in four seasons with the Pats, becoming one of the most feared fighters in junior hockey. He also improved his skating and scoring abilities, contributing to his team's success. He was selected by the Minnesota Wild in the seventh round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, fulfilling his childhood dream.


He made his NHL debut with the Wild in 2005, after spending four years in the minor leagues. He quickly established himself as one of the toughest and most respected enforcers in the league. He fought 184 times in six seasons with the Wild, winning most of his bouts and rarely backing down from a challenge. He also scored 16 points in 255 games, including two memorable goals that brought the crowd to its feet. He became a fan favorite and a team leader in Minnesota, where he was known as "The Boogeyman" for his imposing presence and fearsome reputation.


In 2010, he signed a four-year contract worth $6.5 million with the New York Rangers, making him one of the highest-paid enforcers in NHL history. He played only 22 games with the Rangers before suffering a season-ending concussion in a fight with Matt Carkner of the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 9, 2010. That would be his last game and his last fight.


Boogaard's role as an enforcer was not only a source of pride and joy for him, but also a source of pain and pressure. He had to constantly prove himself as a fighter and a player, facing bigger and stronger opponents every night. He had to deal with the physical toll of fighting, such as broken bones, stitches, bruises, and concussions. He had to cope with the emotional stress of living up to expectations, pleasing fans and media, and balancing his personal and professional life.


The Breaking of the Boogeyman




Boogaard's life as an enforcer took a heavy toll on his body and mind. He suffered from numerous injuries, surgeries, and concussions throughout his career. He became addicted to painkillers and alcohol to cope with his pain and stress. He developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated head trauma, which impaired his cognitive and emotional functions. He died at the age of 28, alone and in despair.


The book chronicles Boogaard's injuries, concussions, surgeries, and painkillers use in detail, revealing how they affected his physical and mental health. It shows how he hid his pain and problems from his family, friends, teammates, and coaches, who often did not know the extent of his suffering. It also exposes how he was enabled and exploited by some of the people around him, such as doctors, trainers, agents, and dealers, who supplied him with drugs and prescriptions without proper oversight or care.


One of the most shocking and heartbreaking revelations in the book is that Boogaard had CTE, a condition that is usually found in older athletes or veterans who have experienced multiple concussions or brain injuries. CTE can cause symptoms such as memory loss, depression, anxiety, aggression, impulsivity, and suicidal thoughts. Boogaard's brain was examined by researchers at Boston University after his death, who found that he had advanced CTE for his age. They concluded that his brain damage was caused by his years of fighting and head trauma.


The book discusses how CTE affected Boogaard's personality and behavior, making him more irritable, moody, paranoid, and violent. It also explains how CTE may have contributed to his addiction and overdose, as he became more dependent on painkillers and alcohol to cope with his emotional distress. It also suggests that CTE may have impaired his judgment and decision-making abilities, leading him to make fatal mistakes on the night of his death.


The book recounts Boogaard's final days in a gripping and tragic narrative, based on interviews with his family, friends, teammates, and others who were in contact with him before he died. It describes how he spent his last months in rehab centers and hotels, trying to recover from his concussion and addiction. It also reveals how he obtained large quantities of painkillers from various sources, including a former teammate and a drug dealer. It details how he mixed alcohol and oxycodone on the night of May 12, 2011, and how he was found dead in his bed by his brothers the next morning.


The Legacy of the Boogeyman




Boogaard's death shocked and saddened his family, friends, teammates, fans, and the hockey community. He was mourned and remembered as a gentle giant, a loyal friend, a loving son and brother, and a passionate player. He was also honored and celebrated as a hero, a legend, and a role model. His jersey number 24 was retired by the Regina Pats, and his name was inscribed on the wall of the Xcel Energy Center, the home arena of the Minnesota Wild. His family and friends also established the Boogaard's Booguardians Foundation, a charity that supports military families and children in need.


Boogaard's death also sparked a debate and a movement in the hockey world about the issues and challenges that face enforcers and other players who suffer from repeated head trauma. His death came shortly after the deaths of two other hockey enforcers, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak, both of whom were also under 40 and had similar health issues. The three deaths raised awareness and concern about the physical and mental health of hockey players, especially those who engage in fighting.


The book reviews the changes and initiatives that have been made or proposed to address these issues, such as concussion protocols, substance abuse programs, fighting rules, and research on CTE. It also evaluates their effectiveness and impact on the players and the sport. It also questions whether these changes are enough or too much, and whether they can prevent or reduce the risk of future tragedies.


The book concludes by highlighting the main takeaways and lessons from Boogaard's life and death. It emphasizes the importance of remembering him as a person beyond his role as a fighter. It also urges the readers to appreciate and respect the sacrifices and struggles that enforcers and other players make for their teams and their fans. It also encourages the readers to support and help those who are suffering from pain, addiction, or brain damage, whether they are hockey players or not.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about the book or its subject matter, along with brief answers:



  • Where can I download or buy the book?



You can download or buy the book from various online platforms, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Apple Books, Kobo, or Audible. You can also find it in your local library or bookstore.


  • Who is John Branch?



John Branch is a reporter for The New York Times who covers sports and other topics. He won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2013 for his series "Snow Fall", which chronicled an avalanche that killed three skiers in Washington State. He is also the author of two other books: The Last Cowboys: A Pioneer Family in the New West (2018) and Sidecountry: Tales of Death and Life from the Back Roads of Sports (2020).


  • What is CTE?



CTE stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease that is caused by repeated head trauma. It can affect people who play contact sports such as hockey, football, boxing, or rugby, as well as people who experience other forms of brain injury such as military combat or domestic violence. CTE can cause symptoms such as memory loss, depression, anxiety, aggression, impulsivity, and suicidal thoughts. There is no cure for CTE, and it can only be diagnosed after death by examining the brain tissue.


  • How common is CTE among hockey players?



There is no definitive answer to this question, as CTE research is still relatively new and limited. However, according to a study by Boston University in 2017, out of 111 brains of former NHL players that were donated for research, 99 (89%) had evidence of CTE. The study also found that CTE severity was correlated with years of playing hockey. However, the study also acknowledged that there may be a selection bias in the sample, as families who donate brains may be more likely to suspect CTE in their loved ones.


  • Has fighting in hockey decreased since Boogaard's death?



Yes, fighting in hockey has decreased significantly since Boogaard's death. According to HockeyFights.com , a website that tracks fights in the NHL, the number of fights per game has dropped from 0.52 in the 2010-11 season to 0.18 in the 2019-20 season, a decline of 65%. The number of players who had more than 10 fights in a season has also dropped from 33 in 2010-11 to 2 in 2019-20. There are various factors that may have contributed to this decline, such as rule changes, concussion awareness, player safety, and skill development.


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