Boogaard possessed the dangerous combination of heavy punching power and a reach advantage over any opponent. "The Boogeyman" was an intimidating force on the ice and excelled at the aspect of the game which he was paid to take part in.
What is often lost in the misinformed image of a mere "goon" is that Mr. Boogaard was a kind, respected individual off the ice. Known to care about and love his fans, he would stay later than required to sign each and every autograph asked of him, among other things.
Absolutely nothing but amiable comments have been made about Boogaard throughout his career. He was respected by every player that ever skated onto the ice with or against him.
Boogaard had fought five times for the Minnesota Wild over the course of three different preseasons, but had yet to fight in an NHL regular season game.
In Minnesota's sixth game of the season, Boogaard fought twice in a game against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. His first fight would come against Kip Brennan.
Boogaard used a powerful left-handed jersey jab (a punch thrown with the hand gripping the jersey, without letting go of the jersey) to get Brennan off-balance, and took full advantage of the opening, landing a right that sent Brennan down.
Dropping Brennan was undoubtedly a proper way for Boogaard to begin his career.
Later in the season, Boogaard would drop another fighter.
Brookbank, having a poor grip on Boogaard's shoulder with his left hand, attempted to grab on with his right hand, in order to switch to throwing lefts.
As he had both hands on Boogaard's jersey, he left himself open and was therefore unable to block or avoid Boogaard's next right, which sent Brookbank down to the ice.
Early in this fight, D.J. King landed a right that broke Boogaard's nose.
Boogaard immediately came back and landed one of his own that knocked off King's helmet. Boogaard landed another right before they drifted into the corner.
From there, Boogaard became the aggressor of the fight, landing a few rights as King simply held on and attempted to tie up his opponent.
After Boogaard switched to lefts and pounded King's body, the linesman broke up the fight.
Nothing special about this fight; it was just two huge men throwing hard at each other. Each landed some quality shots before the linesmen stepped in.
Another one of the six players Boogaard dropped during his legendary rookie season.
After Vandermeer attempted jersey jabs on Boogaard, Boogaard pulled his arm back, causing Vandermeer to lose his grip.
This left Vandermeer completely open, and Boogaard landed a shot that sent him down.
The sheer strength of Boogaard can be understood here, considering the force of him pulling his arm back is enough to make an opponent lose his grip.
The best fighter Boogaard dropped his rookie season would be Brian McGrattan, then on the Ottawa Senators.
Also a rookie at the time, McGrattan had dropped and bloodied longtime infamous NHL tough guy Tie Domi earlier in the season.
McGrattan would spend three more seasons in the NHL as an elite fighter.
Here the two men exchanged rights until Boogaard landed one on McGrattan's cheek, stunning and dropping him.
At 6'4", 245 pounds, McGrattan could hold his own against just about every fighter in the league, but Boogaard beat him decisively in all three of their matchups, dropping him twice.
Here is their last fight. After McGrattan missed a right, Boogaard landed one that sent McGrattan down again.
This was the best fight of the 2006-2007 NHL season, and marks one of two times that Boogaard was dropped in his entire NHL career.
The other fighter to accomplish the feat was Georges Laraque, who took down Boogaard during the 2005-2006 season. Boogaard actually landed five punches to Godard's head in this fight before ending up on the short end of the bout.
The second punch Godard landed in this fight stunned Boogaard, making him fall to his knees. Boogaard attempted to get back up, Godard landed two more punches, the second of which sent Boogaard back down to the ice.
As Boogaard attempted to get back up again, Godard pulled him completely down and the linesman stepped in to separate the two.
What should be noted about this fight is that it was Godard's first for the Calgary Flames in the regular season. In the game between the Wild and Flames prior to this one, Boogaard had been checking Flames on each of his shifts, taking full advantage of that team's lack of an enforcer.
Because of Boogaard's presence, Godard was called up and dressed in order to deal with Boogaard. Godard has not played in the AHL since.
Just four days after the fight against Brookbank, Boogaard would record the first of his two career knockout victories.
For most of the fight, Boogaard threw rights as Gillies threw lefts. Then, Boogaard pulled his right arm back to throw a punch, causing Gillies to lose grip with his right hand (much like what occurred in the Jim Vandermeer fight featured earlier in this countdown).
Gillies held onto Boogaard's left arm with his right hand, and attempted to grab onto Boogaard with his left hand. As he did this, he left himself completely open. Boogaard pulled his arm back, and threw a hay-maker, landing a right-handed uppercut.
Gillies went down to the ice on his back and was unable to get up right away.
If there is one Derek Boogaard fight anyone should watch, this is the one.
Fedoruk never got a good grip on Boogaard. Rather than attempting to grab on in a different spot with his left hand (as Gillies did), Fedoruk attempted to grab on with his right hand and switch to throwing left-handed punches.
Boogaard, completely unhindered from throwing punches the entire fight, landed a brutal shot that broke Fedoruk's right cheekbone.
Fedoruk's face was swollen for nearly a week following this fight, he would need surgery to have a metal plate implanted in his face.
Coming into the 2010-2011 season, Georges Laraque and Donald Brashear had left the NHL, leaving Boogaard as the No. 1 fighter in the league.
After Godard dropped Boogaard in the fight featured earlier in this slideshow, the only player to clearly beat Boogaard in any of the next three seasons was Wade Belak. At the beginning of this past season, Boogaard hadn't lost a fight since December of 2008.
Early in the season, Boogaard edged out Orr, leaving MacIntyre as the only challenge left to solidify his spot at No. 1.
On November 4th, 2010 Boogaard clearly beat MacIntyre, landing significantly more and harder punches. MacIntyre would fight Boogaard to a draw later in the game, but was not enough to take away the win Boogaard notched here.
Derek Boogaard was the best fighter in the NHL at the time of his death.