Derek Boogaard, a 28-year-old NHL player, was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment by his two brothers, unconscious, but not breathing. It was too late to get him to a hospital and he died there, sources told reporters.
Investigators were unable to find any signs of foul play, they did find any sign Boogaard was injured, either. Those who follow sports were able to make an important link, however – the NHL player had not played for five months since he sustained a concussion in a fight. Boogaard’s parents had allowed their son’s brain to be donated to medical experts who study brain trauma in athletes at Boston University, allowing more pieces of the puzzles to be filled in.
It is still too early to tell what the official cause of Boogaard’s death might be – it will be some time before a full autopsy can be completed. Everyone suspects brain trauma was a major factor, however, if not the only real factor.
Brain trauma is nothing new in sports, doctors know. The problem has existed for a long time, and it appears to be getting worse. It is already approaching horrific levels in the sport of football and hockey may not be far behind.
Boogaard himself once hit a Montreal player hard enough to give him a concussion and a fractured vertebra. He was a big man at 6 feet, 9 inches, and 255 pounds, giving him a lot of power behind his blows. The man that put him out of play at the end of his life was 6 feet, 4 inches, and 238 pounds.
Hockey has become a sport played by increasingly more powerful men. They are not only bigger and stronger, but faster. Changes in the rules have also made the game more exciting, but perhaps more dangerous. The NHL will have to figure out how to keep the sport thrilling while preserving the health of the players. Sources warn it could very well be a literal matter of life and death.
In places like Manhattan and Queens, Hospitals and doctors have studied this case and are trying to find the answers.
Brain injury is still a mystery in many ways, but that doesn’t mean anyone should ever suffer from the legal ramifications. Call a New York Brain Injury Lawyer to make sure your family and loved ones are well-protected. Only a New York Brain Injury Lawyer can ensure your case will be both swiftly and fairly executed.