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MuckReads Podcast: Violence and Painkillers in Professional Hockey

In the world of hockey, violence on the ice is not only integral but encouraged. And for enforcers, like Derek Boogaard, being able to fight strategically and intimidate opposing players can make or break a professional career.

For the MuckReads podcast this week, healthcare reporter Marshall Allen sat down with John Branch, a sports reporter for the New York Times, to talk about his series following Boogaard’s evolution from small town athlete to one of the most renowned fighters in the NHL. In particular, Allen and Branch discuss the culture of violence in hockey, Boogaard’s addiction to painkillers, and the lax medical oversight that facilitated Boogaard’s untimely death.

Read Branch’s entire series, Punched Out: The Life and Death of a Hockey Enforcer, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. And share any suggestions you have for the next episode of the MuckReads podcast by tweeting a link with the hashtag #MuckReads or emailing muckreads@propublica.org.

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