Prust will miss ex-roommate

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:46 AM ET

On Saturday, Brandon Prust headed home with a heavy heart.

Just hours before packing his car and returning to London, Ont., for the off-season, the former Calgary Flames winger learned his New York Rangers teammate and road-trip roomie Derek Boogaard had been found dead in Minnesota.

“I am still in shock. It keeps hitting me off and on all day as I’m driving home,” Prust told BlueshirtsUnited.com. “Though he was a fighter on the ice, he was definitely a gentle giant off the ice. He was just a real good guy, a team guy all the way.

“I’ve been looking at some of the silly pictures I have from when we were roommates, and it just hits me what a good guy he was. I still can’t believe I am referring to him in the past tense.”

Boogaard’s body was discovered Friday in his apartment in Minneapolis, where he was a fan favourite during his five-season stint with the Minnesota Wild.

Nicknamed Boogeyman, Boogaard was a feared enforcer who racked up 598 penalty minutes — including 70 fighting majors — in 277 career regular-season outings. The 6-foot-7, 265-lb. tough guy endured a stretch of 234 games with scoring a goal — the longest drought in NHL history — and had just three tallies on his NHL resume.

In 2009, Boogaard was assessed a five-game suspension for elbowing Prust in a clash at the Saddledome, but the former Flames sparkplug has had nothing but good things to say about his late teammate.

“He was well-respected all around the league,” Prust told BlueshirtsUnited.com. “He fought some big tough boys, and to do that game-in and game-out is a tough role, but he did it every day without complaining.

“And I think that’s why he had so much respect and partly why he was loved by so many, especially his teammates.”


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