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Boy On Ice - John Branch

Boy On Ice

Author John Branch

  • Published: 2014-10-07
  • Category: Hockey
4 Stars
From 18 Customers Review
Price: $16.99


The Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s heartbreaking account of the life and shocking death of the toughest man in hockey.

Boy on Ice is New York Times reporter John Branch’s chronicle of Boogaard’s tragic life and death. A human story in the tradition of Friday Night Lights and The Blind Side, it’s a book that raises deep and disturbing questions about the systemic brutality of contact sports—from peewees to professionals—and damage that reaches far beyond the game.

Derek Boogaard was a mountain of a man who lived an almost mythic sports story: from pond-hockey on the prairies of Saskatchewan, to a first NHL contract in Minnesota, to the storied New York Rangers as the most feared enforcer in the league. A gentle young man, he was a brutal fighter on ice skates, capable of delivering career-ending punches and intimidating entire teams. But at 28, his death from an overdose of painkillers in the wake of a series of concussions helped shatter the silence about violence in professional sports.

Top Customer Reviews

  • The heartbreaking ballad of Derek Boogaard

    From Marty52
    John Branch's Boy on Ice is an amazing read, a thorough analysis of the life of the late NHL enforcer Derek Boogaard. From his childhood in Saskatchewan to his career on the rinks of both the WHL and then the NHL, Branch bring to light the uneasy road Boogaard had to walk on to achieve his dream of reaching the most popular hockey league in the world. Boogaard would finally wear the jersey of the Minnesota Wild not because of his skills as a player, but because of his skills as a fighter. An enforcer, a deterrant to other teams who would have to think twice about crossing the line if they did not want to get a visit from the "Boogeyman". Sadly, the role Boogaard had to play to realize his dream came at a high price. I cried when reading this book. Boogaard was a boy in a giant's body. A boy who only played his unfortunate role as a goon because he was casted as such because of a limited skill set on the ice. This book is probably the first stone in the road for a new NHL, with no more mindless fighting. If anything, it brings awareness to this important matter and to the danger of concussions. And we owe this to Derek, to be aware of it, as he sacrificed his body and mind for entertainment as a modern-day gladiator.