Derek Boogaard fought Jody Shelley six times in his NHL career. All six times, Boogaard mopped the floor with the now-Flyers enforcer (although just one of them came with Shelley in orange and black).
As we know, Boogaard tragically passed two weeks ago after an accidental overdose on oxycodone and alcohol. The funeral was this past Saturday in Minnesota, and Shelley made the trip.
Via the Dreger Report (no direct link, get out of the stone age TSN):
"We had a common bond. It's all about respect. I thought I should go....there was no hesitation," Shelley told The Dreger Report.
"What a family. I met his dad and brother and sister and I know if the shoe was on the other foot, my dad would be proud to see the players there. That's one of the good things about hockey."
It certainly is. Shelley gets a lot of crap from a lot of Flyers fans (us included) for his expensive contract, among other things (including his apparent inability to beat heavyweights like Boogaard on the ice at this stage in his career). But at the end of the day, this is the stuff that really matters.
This is the stuff that makes me want to cheer for Jody Shelley and guys like him, no matter what.