9 Months Winnipeg Jets
NHL players Kevin Bieksa, Tanner Glass, Darcy Hordichuk and Kris Versteeg honored former NHL player Rick Rypien in a charity hockey game.
Rypien was found dead in his home in Coleman, a town in the amalgamated municipality of Crowsnest Pass, on Aug. 15, 2011. The 27-year-old had just signed a one-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets after spending parts of six seasons with the Canucks organization. It was revealed after his death that Rypien had been battling depression. "Not a day goes by that I don't think of Rick, and I am thankful for the opportunity to join his family and friends in an evening celebrating his legacy," said Bieksa in a statement. "Coaching and visiting with these kids gave us a chance to remember what was important to Rick: giving back to kids through the sport of hockey."
8/20/2011 Winnipeg Jets
Former NHL player Rick Rypien was laid to rest on Saturday.
This will not be the end for the NHL as investigations are underway. For the Rypien family it brings closure to a hard time in their lives. Over 1,000 people showed up to the nearby hockey arena/funeral to pay their respects.
8/18/2011 Winnipeg Jets
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman expects the league to review its substance abuse and behavioral health program.
Winnipeg's Rick Rypien and New York's Derek Boogaard spent time in the program and their tragic deaths this summer have rocked the league. "I don't think any sports league does more than we do, but maybe there's more, as we focus on it, that we need to focus on," said Bettman. "I know it's always hard for people to accept, but sports is a microcosm of society in general. And life isn't always easy."
8/17/2011 Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg assistant GM Craig Heisinger revealed some details about the passing of Rick Rypien at a media conference on Tuesday.
"There were no drug or alcohol issues... depression is the right word," said Heisinger. "I think he had a fantastic summer, but obviously that wasn't the case. He seemed really excited to be back here. I think there was a comfort zone here for him. He had an apartment all set up and was ready to go. So the question being, did we see any signs? No, we didn't. I never got the sense that there was any problems all summer. I spoke to other people in his support group and none of us had that sense... so, either something happened very quickly or we all missed the boat. I thought for sure he had made strides... I was happy for him because I knew how much he wanted to play here and there was a 100 per cent level of comfort for him here." The 27-year-old forward was discovered dead in his home on Monday and his passing is being felt throughout the league.
8/17/2011 Winnipeg Jets
Reports surfaced on Tuesday that Rick Rypien had been battling depression for the past 10 years.
The time-frame coincides with the death of his girlfriend in a car accident when she was coming to see him play during his second year with the WHL's Regina Pats. "You start wondering was that a trigger point?" said team president Brent Parker, who was the general manager at the time. "Was there something we should have done more at that time or did we miss something? Did we miss some signs?" Despite his demons, Rypien gained a great reputation among his peers for being a leader and selfless teammate. The cause of his death hasn't been reported, but police didn't think it was suspicious.
8/16/2011 Winnipeg Jets
Jason Jaffray commented that Rick Rypien appeared to be happy despite his personal issues.
"Everyone knew he had some issues that he had to get taken care of last year and he was definitely a new man when he came back and ... he was definitely the happiest I'd even seen him," said Rypien's longtime friend and former teammate. "We actually had joked around about bringing a Cup back to Winnipeg." The RCMP said they received a call Monday afternoon concerning a "sudden and non-suspicious" death. There is still no word on the cause of death, but Jets assistant GM Craig Heisinger was scheduled to discuss Rypien's passing at a news conference Tuesday. He appeared in nine games with Vancouver last season and was granted an indefinite leave of absence on November 25th for personal reasons. Rypien resumed his playing career in March with the AHL's Manitoba Moose on a conditioning stint, but he didn't see anymore action in the NHL.
8/15/2011 Winnipeg Jets
Rick Rypien was found dead in his home in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, on Monday by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The Toronto Globe and Mail has reported that the RCMP confirmed the death was not of a suspicious nature, but we're sure more news on the matter will develop after an investigation. The 27-year-old signed with the Winnipeg Jets this off-season, so they released this statement about his passing: "We are deeply saddened to confirm Rick's passing. As many people are aware, he had strong ties to True North Sports & Entertainment, the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club, the former Manitoba Moose Hockey Club and the Vancouver Canucks. We would like to express our sincere sympathies to the Rypien family as well as Rick's friends. We also appreciate all of the support that has come pouring in from Rick's fans. Rick was a talented player with an extremely bright future. His hunger for the game made him a valued team member both on and off the ice. This loss has impacted us as more than just a hockey team." We would also like to extend our condolences to his friends and family regarding their