Hnidy: Boogaard's death a 'terrible loss'

Rangers forward Derek Boogaard celebrates his goal against the Senators with teammates during a...

Rangers forward Derek Boogaard celebrates his goal against the Senators with teammates during a preseason game at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, Oct. 1, 2010. (CHRIS McGRATH/Getty Images/AFP)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:15 PM ET

BOSTON - Like just about everybody in the hockey community, Shane Hnidy was stunned to hear the news.

The Boston Bruins defenceman heard about the death of former teammate Derek Boogaard before the news went public late Friday night.

“Very shocking. You never want to hear something like that, especially a former teammate. It hits the whole hockey community,” said Hnidy, who played with Boogaard when both were members of the Minnesota Wild two seasons ago.

“As much as we are competitors it’s overall kind of like a big family. We’re all in the same situation. We live the same type of lifestyles. It’s really tough. It hit me pretty hard (Friday) night when I first heard, the shock, and talked to a few people. Just send everything out to his family, condolences. It’s a tough time for everyone.”

Boogaard, 28, was found dead in his apartment in Minnesota. The New York Rangers enforcer had missed the last 52 games of the regular season because of a concussion and shoulder injury. A medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death and if the concussion had anything to do with it.

Hnidy said he got to know Boogaard in his time in Minnesota. He remembered him as a player who interacted with fans and got involved in charitable causes, showing a personality that contradicted his imposing presence on the ice.

“Everybody just saw the big tough exterior but he was a great guy who really gave back, especially in Minny. He was probably the biggest, most popular player there. He gave back,” said Hnidy, who said he last had contact with Boogaard last summer after Boogaard landed a four-year, $6.5 million deal with the Rangers and Hnidy was looking for work.

“I know he was excited to go to New York. He got his deal. From there kind of lose touch, I was kind of out of the hockey world for awhile,” said Hnidy.

“It’s a tight-knit hockey community. As much as we compete, off the ice we all have that common ground of what we do for a living. It’s tough when you lose anyone and especially someone you’ve played with.

“Like I said it’s a terrible loss. He’s still a young man.”

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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