Is Derek Boogaard’s Family Justified In Suing NHL Player’s Union?


Despite the NHL Player’s Union denying reports from TMZ that the parent’s of the late Derek Boogaard are suing them for the remainder of their son’s contract plus punitive damages, all signs report to this being the case.  But should Boogaard’s family be suing the union?  Absolutely and here’s why.

The former Wild enforcer was still owed roughly $4.8 million on his contract at the time of his tragic death from a mixture of drugs and alcohol.  Boogaard’s family claims that their son was addicted to pain medication and are saying the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers are partly to blame.  The parents of Boogaard are accusing the Rangers and Wild medical and training staff of prescribing “a multitude of narcotics and sleeping pills by both the team doctors, physicians, trainers, and dentists” courtesy of

Because the family feels that the hockey clubs are partly responsible for their son’s death they approached the player’s union who promised to help file a grievance to seek the remaining dues on his contract with the Rangers.

TMZ goes on to say that the union failed to file the grievance before the required deadline leaving the Boogaard’s out of luck.

If this report is true and sure appears to be picking up steam, then shame on the player’s union for dropping the ball on this one.  I’m sure there are plenty of lawyer filled reports that justify why the grievance was not filed on time but let’s be honest here, there is no reason why it shouldn’t have been.

Again, going on the notion that what TMZ is saying is accurate, Boogaard’s family appears to have taken the appropriate steps and should have been paid out what their son was set to earn.  On top of the remaining contract owed to Boogaard, the family is seeking an additional $5 million for punitive damages and I for one hope they get it.

Having to deal with the loss of their son is bad enough and something they have to try and deal with everyday they wake up in the morning.  They should at least be allowed to receive what is entitled to them.  Is it selfish?  Not in the least given they are fully permitted to the money.

It won’t take the pain away of losing their son and I’m sure they would give everything they own just to have him back.  But in this case the union screwed up and now they should be compensating the Boogard’s for having to once again go through the anguish of their son’s death.  I hope they get what they’re asking for and then some.