Houston Aero fans fondly remember Derek Boogaard, the six-foot-seven freak of hockey nature who was the team's enforcer, a relentless brawler whose basic skills consisted of beating up opponents. In the strange world of hockey fighting, Boogaard stood out, not only for his size, but for the sheer joy he seemed to experience while whaling away on some other team's enforcer.
We profiled him and teammate Chris Bala a few years ago. Bala now plays for the minor-league Reading Royals in Pennsylvania, but Boogaard has made it to the big time with the NHL's Minnesota Wild, where oddly enough he leads the team in scoring and is a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy.
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Not really. But Boogaard is indeed with the Wild, and our sister paper in Minnesota, City Pages, has done their own profile of the Boogeyman. Gotta love the professorial eyeglasses the soft-spoken Boogaard's now sporting. — Rich Connelly