Saturday, May 14, 2011

Boogaard, Hejduk, Conference Finals

New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard was found dead Friday in his Minneapolis apartment. He was 28.

The team announced Boogaard’s death on Friday night, but gave no details.

The Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis first reported Boogaard was found dead in his home by members of his family. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office in Minnesota confirmed those details and said an autopsy was pending.

“Derek was an extremely kind and caring individual,” Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather said. “He was a very thoughtful person, who will be dearly missed by all those who knew him. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and teammates during this difficult time.”
RIP Derek Boogaard and condolences to the Boogaard family.

In much less important news, the Avalanche announced on Wednesday that they had re-signed our boy - Milan Hejduk.

Hejduk during the 2010-11 season passed Peter Forsberg for fourth place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list, became Pepsi Center’s all-time scoring leader, reached his 400th career assist and was the first player in Colorado Avalanche history to appear in 900 career games.

“Milan has been a big part of our organization throughout the past 12 seasons,” said Avalanche General Manager/Executive Vice President Greg Sherman. “He’s been one of the top goal scorers in the NHL over the last decade and we look forward to having him back next season.”

Originally selected by the Quebec Nordiques in the fourth round (87th overall) of the 1994 Entry Draft, Hejduk has recorded 357 goals and 400 assists for 757 points in 910 career games. He ranks third in franchise history in games, is fourth in both goals and points, and ranks fifth in assists. Hejduk is the franchise’s all-time leader in regular season overtime goals with nine and his 58 career game-winning tallies rank second in team history behind only Sakic (86). Hejduk is third in power-play goals (132) and fourth in career plus/minus (+120).
Will Joe Sacco bestow the "C" on Hejduk for what is likely his final season?

Finally, I went 3/4 with my predictions in the Conference Semi-Finals, only missing the epic downfall of the Washington Capitals. Here are my Conference Finals predictions:

(3) Boston vs. (5) Tampa Bay

I've picked the Bruins since the beginning of the playoffs and I have no reason to change my mind. Look for Nathan Horton to dominate.
Bruins in 6

(1) Vancouver vs. (2) San Jose

I can't wait to watch how this series transpires because it really does have the potential to go seven. The only certainty? No lead is safe.
Sharks in 7

Until next time... - Best Sports Blogs, Sports Blogger Rankings

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