Josh Harding’s Goalie Mask Will Honor NHLers Who Passed Away This Summer

Throughout his hockey career, Minnesota Wild goaltender Josh Harding has had many different teammates.  Among those who Harding has shared a locker room with are Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Pavol Demitra.  Harding played with Rypien from 2001-04, while both were members of the WHL’s Regina Pats.  As for Boogaard and Demitra, they have both spent time with the Minnesota Wild while Harding was a backup there (he still is).  However, playing on a team with Josh Harding isn’t the only thing that Rypien, Boogaard and Demitra have in common.  Unfortunately, all three of these men passed away during the summer of 2011.

Boogard passed on May 13 as a result of a lethal mix of alcohol and oxycodone, while Rypien committed suicide on August 15 after suffering years of depression.  As for Demitra, he was on the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane that suffered a fatal crash on September 7.  All of these tragedies are still fresh in the minds of NHL players, including Harding, who has decided to honor these tragic losses on his goalie mask this season.

In addition to having Boogaard, Rypien and Demitra’s names on the back of his mask, Harding also decided to add his grandmother, Rosemarie, who also passed away this summer.

It is a beautiful way for Harding to honor the passing of those who have touched his life at some point, but one can only hope that he will not have to make any other additions to his mask anytime soon.

Hat Tip – [Puck Daddy]

Tags: derek boogaard, goalie mask, josh harding, Minnesota Wild, Pavol Demitra, rick rypien,