In all seriousness...
Derek Boogaard was one of the most fearsome players in the game, to the point that players did not even want to fight him. What's more, by all accounts (read the comments at the link) he was a good, humble man, appreciative of the extraordinary life he lived. The world doesn't ask us whether we're ready for things like this, and I wish the best to Boogaard's family. I don't really know what else to say except that you can be sure that he's playing hockey somewhere, and we as hockey fans can keep him alive by remembering, and sharing, as Hockey Wilderness is doing with the above link. It seems to make it easier for me to think about him the way I've thought about Mike Richter, when it became achingly apparent that he wasn't the great goaltender I thought he was:
Where he does fit is a story, a tale passed down, be it of the meteor of NHL history that was the '93-'94 season in New York or the soft-spoken, earnest advocate for the environment that he is now. I preserve him in the stories I tell friends, the lessons I can tell my children, and those places that never forget how truly good Mikey was on penalty shots, even if he was up against one of the most dangerous snipers in the world. Those places don't forget that he was a good person where we've always wanted to see good people.
His legacy will keep there, remain there beyond me. And you know what? I can live with that.
You might notice a certain coherence in the above, and that's because I (Ben) took the keyboard away from Grandpa to put this down. In fact, he had just started typing about Boogaard when I cut him off. For the sake of his "saving hockey" mission, I preserved what he was typing below...
This week's articles:
Monday: Tampa's playoff scoring
Grandpa's Analysis: I'm not seeing the "observed heart," I'll just assume it's the green wedge.
Tuesday: Getting Defensive: Florida Panthers
GA: Like my opinion of most warm-weather teams, the feeling I get when spending my time thinking about them is roughly the equivalent of passing a kidney stone the size and shape of Darren Pang. That said, Mike Weaver reminds me of me: small, scrappy, criminally under-appreciated in his cunning.
Wednesday: Interlude: Automated Parking Space Tracking
GA: I'd have more interest invested in this, but I only drive my '92 Cadillac Brougham on Sundays. Really slowly. It's so the world can see my snarl when it's at its most complacent. Also, fresh doughnuts.
Thursday: Bruins-Lightning Playoff Preview
GA: Yeah, that's right Tampa Bay Common Weather Phenomenon, eat the power of the Six.
GA: Cripes, Gabe's becoming a fanboy. Next think you know he'll claim his favorite player is a long-time Sharks player like...I don't know...Mike Rathje or something.