Growing up in the prairies of Canada, Derek Boogaard was always one of the biggest kids on the ice. He wasn't particularly the best skater, best shooter, or a natural playmaker. But, he was by far the biggest. And is hockey, sometimes that is enough for you to be a difference maker.
Boogaard and his family made many sacrifices on and off the ice in order to make his NHL dreams come true. Being somewhat forced in the role of the "goon" or enforcer, Boogaard became a star for the Minnesota Wild and the historic New York Rangers.
Being an enforcer is no easy life, and Boogaard was constantly in pain. Concussions piled up, and his life took a dark turn. Turning to pills and booze to dull the pain, Boogaard eventually succumbed to his demons before his 30th birthday.
Written by award-winning New York Times sports reporter John Branch, Boy in Ice is a gripping read. You don't need to be a hockey fan in order to be pulled in, and the growing concern of CTE in professional and young athletes makes this a cautionary tale for all. ~ Reviewed by Chris Linendoll