Boogaard's father: Many NHLers just 'cannon fodder'by Jon Collins, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The father of former Minnesota Wild hockey player Derek Boogaard says some in the National Hockey League enabled his son in his prescription painkiller addiction.
Derek Boogaard died of an accidental prescription drug and alcohol overdose a year ago.
His father, Len Boogaard, told CBC's As It Happens on Wednesday that the NHL ignored positive drug tests and reports of his son's prescription drug abuse.
"Why have a drug testing system in place if you're not going to look at the results or do anything about it?" He said. "There's got to be accountability in terms of the doctors, the substance abuse program, and etcetera. So my goal in this, I guess, is to prevent this happening to any other players."
The New York Times reported this week that Derek Boogaard received about 100 prescriptions from a dozen NHL team doctors in his last few years.
"From what I've seen over the years, the majority of the players are just cannon fodder," he said. "If a player gets injured, he doesn't want to sit out because he knows that there's 1,000 kids or other players that are standing behind him waiting to take his spot. So, the players, as well as the doctors, are quite prepared to take the medications or dole out the medications."
The NHL released a two-sentence statement saying that Boogaard received appropriate medical care.
- Morning Edition, 06/07/2012, 6:40 a.m.