Hockey, in the United States, is a niche sport. Hockey fans know it, and we don't care. As such, there really is a sort of kinship among hockey fans, players, and analysts. Even those of us who hate each other realize we're a part of one another. (I remember having a good time sitting at an Aeros game next to a Red Wings fan, putting our differences aside for a few short hours to enjoy the hockey game) When tragedy strikes, almost every player, coach, team, and die-hard fan feels it whether they're directly related or involved or not.
With that in mind, it was no surprise to see the outpouring of sympathy when the news broke today that New York Ranger Derek Boogaard was found dead in his home today at age 28 (once again, a guy younger than I am). It's just stunning. And even players who've never played with/against the Boogeyman are shocked and stunned by the news.
It put a serious damper on my otherwise jovial mood. Here is Mike Russo's excellent first-edition story. There aren't a lot of details yet, though officials don't suspect foul play.