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Friday, September 16, 2011
Rangers discuss loss of Boogaard

By Katie Strang

On the first day of Rangers training camp, several players were asked about this summer's loss of teammate Derek Boogaard, who died in May from an accidental overdose of alcohol and painkillers.

"Some guys have talked about it," captain Ryan Callahan said. "It's tough to lose a teammate. I don't think there's anything like it."

Boogaard, a hulking enforcer, was known for being as lovable and tender-hearted off the ice as he was menacing on it.

"He was a big guy and a big personality and he's going to be missed" alternate captain Marc Staal said. "He's not going to be forgotten with us."

Boogaard was one of three NHL players -- along with Rick Rypien and recently retired Wade Belak -- who died this summer.

Boogaard played in 22 games for the Rangers last year before suffering a season-ending concussion.

Fellow tough guy Brandon Prust, who was roommates on the road with Boogaard before he was injured, vowed to honor his fallen teammate every night.

"I'll honor Derek every game," Prust said. "I hope he's out there with me every game."