A Hennepin County Medical Examiner has ruled that Derek Boogaard died from a lethal mixture of alcohol and oxycodone. Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune broke the news on Twitter, which was also picked up by 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
It was reported last week following Boogaard’s tragic passing that he had reached out to the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavoral Program for help. The Star-Tribune cited sources last week that confirmed Boogaard had wrestled with this issue in the past as well:
Star Tribune sources say when Boogaard missed most of the Wild’s training camp in 2009 and the first two weeks of the season under the guise of a concussion, he actually was entered into Stage 1 of the program.
More on the news out of Minnesota from the Associated Press:
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A medical examiner in Minnesota ruled the death of Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard was an accident, due to mixing alcohol and oxycodone.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner released Boogaard’s cause of death on Friday. The medical examiner said no other data will be released.
The 28-year-old Boogaard was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment last Friday, five months after he sustained a season-ending concussion with the New York Rangers.
The 6-foot-7, 265-pound enforcer became a fan favorite in his years with the Minnesota Wild. He played in 255 games with the Wild from 2005-10.
Oxycodone is a powerful painkiller that can be addictive and has been blamed in some overdose deaths.
Boogaard’s agent and a spokeswoman for the Boston University School of Medicine said earlier this week that Boogaard’s brain will be examined for signs of a degenerative disease often found in athletes who sustain repeated hits to the head.