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Updated: May 20th, 2011 12:20pm
Derek Boogaard's death ruled an accidental drug overdose

Derek Boogaard's death ruled an accidental drug overdose

by Tom Pelissero
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Derek Boogaard died from a lethal mixture of alcohol and oxycodone, according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, which on Friday ruled the NHL enforcer's death an accident.

Boogaard, a fan favorite during his five seasons with the Minnesota Wild, was found dead in his Minneapolis apartment last Friday. He was 28.

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic painkiller, also known as OxyContin. The New York Post reported Boogaard was in the in the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse & Behavioral Health Program in the weeks prior to his death, but the medical examiner declined to speculate on cause of death before toxicity reports returned.

A seventh-round pick by the Wild in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Boogaard played his first five NHL seasons with the Wild before signing a four-year, $6.5 million contract with the New York Rangers in July. He played in 22 games with the Rangers before suffering a season-ending concussion in a fight with Ottawa's Matt Carkner on Dec. 9.

Boogaard's family has pledged to donate his brain for concussion research.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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In this story: Derek Boogaard