REGINA - The office of Minnesota’s Hennepin County medical examiner has determined Derek Boogaard’s death was accidental due to a mixture of alcohol and the pain killer oxycodone.
The New York Rangers forward was found dead by family members in his Minneapolis apartment last Friday. His funeral will take place on Saturday at the RCMP Depot in Regina.
Boogaard, 28, was limited to 22 games with the Rangers this season due to a concussion. He had spent the previous five seasons with the Minnesota Wild.
Boogaard’s family have declined media request, but did release a statement Friday through the NHL Players Association:
“We would like to express our appreciation for the outpouring of love and support for our family during this difficult period as we grieve the loss of Derek – our son and brother. We are deeply saddened by this unimaginable loss, but we are grateful for the expression of support that has given us strength as we go through this tragic time.
It is very comforting for our family to know that, while Derek’s life was far too short, he had a great impact on many people who he came into contact with. We are proud that Derek was able to live his boyhood dream to play in the National Hockey League. We are even more proud of the fact that Derek was dedicated to making a difference in his adopted communities of Minnesota and New York City, through his countless hours of charitable work.
Earlier today, we received the results of Derek's toxicology report at the time of his accidental death. After repeated courageous attempts at rehabilitation and with the full support of the New York Rangers, the NHLPA, and the NHL, Derek had been showing tremendous improvement but was ultimately unable to beat this opponent. While he played and lived with pain for many years, his passion for the game, his teammates, and his community work was unstoppable.
Our family would like to like to thank the New York Rangers, the Minnesota Wild, the National Hockey League Players’ Association, and the National Hockey League for supporting Derek's continued efforts in his battle.
Derek will be greatly missed and will never be forgotten by his fans, friends, and teammates, and especially by us – his family. We respectfully ask for continued privacy as we grieve the loss of Derek.”