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.