We passed the first anniversary of Rick Rypien’s death just two months ago, on August 15. In that year, the former Canucks winger has been anything but forgotten. Despite playing only 119 games in a Canucks uniform, Rypien left an indelible impression on the city of Vancouver, one that his death has only deepened. Kevin Bieksa and the Canucks launched Mindcheck.ca, a website where visitors struggling with mental health issues like Rypien’s can get connected to support early and quickly, and that site quietly became a provincial resource back in January. Ryp’s death was hardly in vain.
But Mindcheck isn’t the only lasting tribute to Rypien. There’s also the column outside of Rogers Arena that still bears messages from the impromptu memorial Ellen Ransford and other fans put together after Rypien took his life. While many of the construction paper cards, posterboard signs, flowers and whatnot are gone, the writing on the pillar has remained untouched.
That is, until Justin Bieber came to town last night. Brace yourselves.Continue Reading —›
While I never played ice hockey growing up, I regularly played street hockey with my friends. For some reason, I naturally gravitated towards being a goaltender, which was absurd given my small stature. But I had good reflexes, agility, and flexibility, so I stuck with it.
One of the best Christmas presents I ever received was a set of Ed Belfour street hockey goalie gear. They weren’t much more than foam with nylon wrapped around them, but I loved them. The baseball catcher-style chest protector was almost bigger than my entire body, so I didn’t wear it, leading to many bruises on my chest, but the light pads worked well with my agile, stand-up style.
Their best feature, however, was the image on the pads: half of Eddie “The Eagle” Belfour’s iconic mask was reproduced across each pad, causing them to form the entire mask when you brought the pads together. Besides being a helpful guide for knowing which pad to put on which leg, it also made the pads look exceptionally cool, which isn’t easy when it comes to cheap foam street hockey pads.
Why do I tell this story now? Because Eddie “The Stork” Lack has some new pads with a very similar design.Continue Reading —›