Wild And Boogaard Come To Terms
|Derek Boogaard piled up 158 penalty minutes in his first NHL season in 2004-05.|
A long shot to make the club out of training camp last year, Boogaard quickly emerged as a fan favorite for his willingness to send opposing players airborne with a monstrous hit, or standing up for his teammates, as he did by shutting up Chicago’s Matthew Barnaby in front of the Wild bench last year.
The 6-foot-7 restricted free agent will be back next year after signing a contract for the 2006-07 season.
“It’s awesome that I’m signed,” said Boogaard, who just returned home to Regina, Saskatchewan after watching his 6-foot-5 younger sister, Krysten, compete at the Under-18 World Basketball championships in Colorado Springs. “Just being on the (Wells Fargo Wild) Road Tour, you could see how excited the fans got to see all the guys. So I’m very happy and excited for next season.”
Like everyone associated with the team, Boogaard is thrilled about the new additions to the team including Pavol Demitra, Mark Parrish and Kim Johnsson, among others. He’s also well aware that he’s going to have to work harder to be able to crack the lineup on a nightly basis. He was a healthy scratch 12 times in 2004-05.
“It will be a lot tougher,” the off-ice gentle giant admitted. “But I have to keep working hard this summer, and keep improving. I had a talk with (head coach) Jacques (Lemaire) at the end of the season. He told me what to do, and I know what to do, and that’s try my hardest to get better.”
One thing he is already one of the best at is policing the ice for his teammates. He established himself early last season as one of the premier punchers in the League. With the exception of some tough battles with Georges Laraque and Donald Brashear, most Boogaard scraps ended with his opponent hanging on for dear life before crumpling to the ice in a heap.
Boogaard finished the season with two goals and four assists and 158 penalty minutes, which led the team. He had never before scored more than one goal in any season of junior or minor league hockey. He was originally selected by the Wild in the seventh round (202nd overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
Derek Boogaard’s Career Statistics