The New York Times reports that in his final three seasons playing in the National Hockey League, before dying last year at 28 of an accidental overdose of narcotic painkillers and alcohol, Boogaard received more than 100 prescriptions for thousands of pills from more than a dozen team doctors for the Minnesota Wild and the Rangers.
Some of those prescriptions were for Oxycodone, the powerful painkiller the Hennepin County medical examiner says the 28-year-old overdosed on the night of his death last May.
Boogard’s father Len, a former Canadian Mountie and small town beat cop, followed the paper trail that chronicled the depth of the NHL enforcer’s addiction.
Among the findings of the investigation by Len Boogaard, reported by the NY Times:
- In a six-month stretch from October 2008 to April 2009, while playing 51 games, Boogaard received at least 25 prescriptions for the painkillers hydrocodone or oxycodone, a total of 622 pills, from 10 doctors – eight team doctors of the Wild, an oral surgeon in Minneapolis and a doctor for another N.H.L. team.
- In the fall of 2010, an official for the Rangers, Boogaard’s new team, was notified of Boogaard’s recurring abuse of narcotic pain pills. Nonetheless, a Rangers team dentist soon wrote the first of five prescriptions for hydrocodone for Boogaard after he sustained an injury.
- Another Rangers doctor, although aware that Boogaard also had been addicted to sleeping pills in the past, wrote nearly 10 prescriptions for Ambien during Boogaard’s lone season with the team.