Absolutely awful news from Coleman, Alberta this evening, as Rick Rypien was found dead in his home by a family member. The RCMP has declared the death unsuspicious; News 1130 is reporting that Rypien took his own life. There are no words. What follows is a pathetic attempt to say something about a tragedy over which there is seemingly nothing profound to speak.
Canuck fans likely remember the mystery surrounding Rypien’s two personal leaves, both of which were sudden, unexplained, and prolonged. You may also remember Rypien’s optimism after he returned from his most recent leave last March, bearded and excited. Whatever his issues, most seemed to believe they were behind him. Unfortunately, they may have caught back up to him.
The Canucks issued the following statement in regards to Rypien’s passing:
“It is with tremendous sadness that the Vancouver Canucks confirm the passing of Rick Rypien. Rick has been a beloved member of the Canucks family for the past six years. Rick was a great teammate and friend to our players, coaches and staff. We send our deepest condolences to the Rypien family at this most difficult time.”
Rypien will be given the “former Canuck” label in all formal media reports because he signed with the Winnipeg Jets just under a month and a half ago, but that’s not right. The Vancouver Canucks were the only NHL team he ever suited up for. As far as I’m concerned, Rypien died a Canuck. Mind you, it doesn’t matter who he plays for, because this has nothing to do with hockey. Sometimes we forget that these athletes, skilful, fit and practiced though they may be, are just people — that they struggle with the same problems as anybody, that they’re just as fragile, just as human. It’s absolutely devastating to be reminded in such a sickening fashion. Rick Rypien will be missed and mourned.
Let’s wrap things up with some good memories. Here’s a 2008 video of Rypien working out to make the Canucks’ roster:
Here’s a video of a sweet Rick Rypien goal:
And here’s a video of a sweet Rick Rypien fight:
Speaking of fighting, Arctic Ice Hockey once examined Rypien’s unique style, which involved a tactical protection of his face. It allowed him to win fights against larger opponents, such as, in one classic bout, the behemoth Hal Gill:
Okay, now stop sitting around on the Internet. Go find someone you love. Tell them you love them. Be thankful you found them.Tags: featured, perspective, Rick Rypien, the saddest news