The local papers brought more to light regarding this tragic incident today. Larry Brooks of the New York Post was the first from our local media to report that Boogard had been involved in the league and player’s association recovery program. Brooks did not break that story nationally, as it was first reported in the Minneapolis Tribune, but he did mention that Boogard had returned to the team in April and then sought permission from Rangers’ President Glen Sather to leave the team in order to further pursue recovery. Rangers Daily News beat reporter Jesse Spector also reported this, as well as the family’s decision to donate Boogard’s remains to the important scientific research on CTE being done by Boston University. More from Spector:
It also was a day of very sad and uncomfortable questions, both about the reactions of the people close to Boogaard and the situation that now will unfold in the aftermath of his death. Perhaps the most awkward query of the day was the last one, as I just learned that, as you might expect, the remaining three years on Boogaard’s contract do not count against the salary cap. It turns out that under the CBA, death is the same as retirement from a salary cap standpoint – according to the NHLPA, had Boogaard been over 35 years old when he signed his contract, the rest of the contract would have remained in effect against the cap.
The major developments of the day were that a source said Boogaard was involved in the NHLPA/NHL Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program, which could have been for any number of off-ice issues, and that, as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune first reported, Boogaard’s family has agreed to donate his brain to scientific research with the Boston University program that has made so many recent breakthroughs with posthumous examinations of NHL enforcer Bob Probert and dozens of NFL players.
Whatever substance issues Boogard struggled with, we are confident that proper scientific testing will reveal were linked to the fatal disease CTE, and that Boogard will be the youngest hockey player diagnosed. Yesterday, we called for the league to do more to protect the players. Today, we will ask the New York Rangers to also do something, considering this tragedy and the missed diagnosis of a concussion on Rangers star Marian Gaborik by team doctors this winter.